Some teenagers are addicted to alcohol, drugs, etc or are caught shoplifting. The State Juvenile Justice Department sends such teenage offenders or drug-addict children to juvenile boot camps. But is this a correct option?
Juvenile boot camps are also called 'outdoor behavioral health care facilities'. These camps are more like 'state correctional facilities'. There are state-run boot camps as well as private ones. However, the state-run camps are on a decline because of some tragic incidents, that occurred in these camps.
Most of these are funded equally by the state and federal governments. These were created as an alternative to the juvenile jails. Hence, normally the children inducted by juvenile courts are sent to them. At times, these camps can also take an errant teenager under their tutelage.
Boot camps have a strict discipline regime. The setup of a youth boot camp is like a hard core military setup. The day begins at 5 am, with some exercise drills, running, hiking, etc. Any kind of indiscipline is not tolerated in these camps.
Children who misbehave, are at times handcuffed, kicked with shackles, etc. The characteristics of these camp are fear of authority, respecting commands and orders of staffs, hard feelings towards people in authoritative positions and subjugation.
Most of the youth camps have a ghost of obsessed staffers looming at large over them. A large number of staff at these camps have been fired for assaulting the teenagers. Criminal actions have also been initiated against some of them.
Although the correctional camps claim to have the best of facilities, the staffs may not be well-qualified to handle the troubled teens. At times the staff may also be abusive.
The duration of juvenile boot camps is approximately 4 to 6 weeks. They are not only for teenagers who need disciplinary actions to get rid of drug addiction, but also for children who like exercising or would like to get themselves into good habits. Children who are at times sloppy at their work, benefit a great deal from such camps.
At times these camps are looked upon as behavior correction centers. But, it is not possible to change the behavior of children in such a short period of time. There are chances that children might pick up some bad habits during their stay at the camp. Also, there is no follow-up after the camp tenure is over.
Therefore, the effects are not everlasting. Changes may be seen for a small period of time, but the child soon goes back to the bad behavior that has been his second nature. The percentage of relapsing to the old behavior is as high as 80%.
Each camp lasts approximately for about a period of 30 days and are upwardly priced. The organizers are aware of the fact that parents want change in the behavior of their wards and hence, are ready to pay high price for the same. The state-run boot camps are cheaper than private ones.
An option to boot camps can be therapeutic programs, which teach survival skills. These skills help children to cope with the surroundings in the world where it's the survival of the fittest.