Juvenile bootcamps Essay

This essay has a total of 2011 words and 8 pages.

juvenile bootcamps

Boot camp is an alternative to incarceration. In this paper I will prove that Boot Camps
for youthful offenders does in fact work. Boot camps started in the early 1888 by Warden
Zebulon Brockway at the Elmira Reformatory located in Elmira, New York. The warden did
this because he wanted to invoke a new way of disciplining and keeping the inmates active.
The reasoning that this style of imprisonment worked was because there were virtually no
prison guards which saved thousands of dollars. Another reason that it worked was because
the men would work day and night producing quality goods that were much less then the
competitors. Yates Law prohibited the inmates from competing in the open market which
eventually lead to the end of the military like structure. Another reason for and end of
this type of incarceration was due to World War I. Prior to the war local citizens were
invited to the facility to witness the military like drills and ceremonies. As soon as the
war ended the people didn't like the military which shut down the program.

The United States Army used basic training to rehabilitate soldiers who committed crimes.
They used this system because prisons were overcrowded and very expensive. This way
reduced the cost and allowed the return of 42,000 soldiers into active duty.

In 1965 shock incarceration was developed in Ohio. This was an attempt to "shock" inmates
by making them think twice about what they were going to do. The length the incarceration
was on for 90-180 days. An analysis of the program in Ohio proved to be successful. There
was a 130 percent less recidivism then those with prior records.

In Kentucky they had the highest rates of rearrest, reconviction and the return to prison.
There reincarceration rare was only 21.4 percent. This was consistent with the finking
form other shock probation programs that were heralded as effective (Vito and Ellis).

The First Juvenile boot camp was established in 1985 in Orleans Parish, Louisiana. The
kids who were accepted into boot camps were between the ages of 17-26 and the offence had
to be one that was nonviolent or less then one first degree offense.

Boot camp incorporates military drill and ceremonies and physical training. After care is
now one of the steps in a successful program. Most states now believe that group
counseling are vital for the inmates success. They also integrated drug and alcohol
treatment which is a very good idea because many youths have a drug problem and need the
help to kick the habit. They also have educational programs as well. Inmates that have not
graduated from high school can prepare and take the test to receive their General
Equivalency diploma.

The cost to for boot amp inmates differs from state to state depending on the size of the
facility. The average cost for housing an inmate for 90-120 days is about $4,205. The cost
for housing an inmate who commits the same crime and is imprisoned for one year is about
$21,000. It is much cheaper place a troubled youth into a boot camp rater then into a
prison for a year.

The reasoning for boot camps is complex. The theory of people committing crime is that
they have free will. This is the classical view stating that every person makes a choice
as to what they are going to do and why. If a person chooses to commit a crime they must
be thinking that the benefits outweigh the pain. Holman and Quinn have stated:

That is , human behavior is believed governed by external environmental circumstances
and/or internal biological conditions. Free will is, therefore, and illusion. An example
would be a starving person, living in abject poverty without hope of obtaining money or
employment, who steals food. Although some would claim that this person still has the
freedom to choose not to steal, a positivist would agree that she or he does not - that
such a person is forced into crime by circumstances.

Boot camps focuses on rewarding good behavior and punishing bad behavior. The ways that
they would be punished is by making them do extra push-ups running , sit-ups, etc. This
environment is supposed to be therapeutic as the drill instructor and the correctional
officers are acting as role models. Anderson found that young inmates living under a
controlled environment or "milieu therapy" recidivate less.

Active therapy is used to help the inmates who have aggression and hostility issues. This
therapy helps them manage there problems and to think logically about what they are going
to do. Physical training is used to teach problem solving techniques. It also teaches then
aggression control and to take responsibility for their actions. They use these methods
because many of the crimes which are committed the person uses irrational thinking and
poor judgement. This will hopefully help them into making a good decision.

The Alabama boot camp program or the Disciplinary Rehabilitation Unit (DRU) began in
September of 1988. It accommodates more then 180 inmates and the program lasts 90 days
unless a person keeps failing. The inmates are usually between the ages of 15-34 and many
of them have a juvenile records. They must be selected by a board of directors and pass a
physical fitness test as do the correctional officers. The program is divided into three
phases which will address every aspect of the inmates needs.

The first phase is for thirty days and attempts to make the inmates realize that they are
there because of poor decisions and judgements. They are also urged to face the facts by
writing down what they have done wrong in the past. The Dru officials demand conformity
and discipline right from the start. They also now realize that they must stop making
excuses as to why they committed the crime. One participant explains his experience of
this phase:

"I Learned that I have a problem with people who are in charge...For the first time in my
life I learned to be honest with myself... It made me see that I have no one to blame bu
me for the poor choice I have made.. I finally had to own up to all the bad things I have
done and admit sorrow for them... I wasn't honest with myself...I learned that I did not
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