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In New Zealand Principal Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft said boot camps were "arguably the least successful sentence in the Western world" (12 ).

Does this get tough mentality work? Another get tough with youthful offenders is/was "Scared Straight". It was a "get tough" program that was supposed to show youths the hardships of prison life. According to research this approach has not and doesn't work in preventing crime. A surgeon general's report on programs to reduce youth violence, Scared Straight has been called "consistently ineffective" and place in the category of "Does Not Work.". This Type of approach does have an impact on youth it "hardens troubled children and increases their involvement in crime and violence."(13 ).

A report of the National Institutes of Health said Boot Camp tactics "appear ineffective." (14 ).

Specific tactics of Boot Camps and believe the make transition back to the community more difficult (15 ).

Scott Lilienfeld, professor of psychology at Emory University listed Boot Camps on a list of potentially harmful therapies" and "should be avoided" (16 ).


Two former Judges in Pennsylvania admitted to receiving 2.6 million in kick backs to send youths to privately run detention centers. Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan plead guilty to federal charges. These kids came from low income families. Juvenile Law Center spokeswoman Marie Roda said this made them "easy targets," and "A lot of them didn't have lawyers and when they asked for a public defender and they were told it would be weeks to wait,"(17 ).

Boot Camp Operator Ohio Vision for Youth has four facilities for kids from 13-18. These kids came from the Juvenile justice system and the foster care system. They were hard to place because of criminal records and emotional problems. Brian Harter of Ohio's Department of Job and Family Services said "You look at these kids' backgrounds...(they) have a lot of issues, and they have situations that require special attention,". At least three times Vision for Youth licensing specialists investigating recommended its license be revoked but it continues to operate (18 ).

It should be noted, that all who are victimized by Boot Camps are not criminals. Many are sent by concerned and loving parents who are tricked into believing the camp will help their child improve.

The government agency, GAO discovered that a 15 year old girl who was the victim of date rape was enrolled her in a Utah wilderness program in the hopes of building her confidence and her self-esteem. The program was advertised as a group of "highly trained survival experts". These "experts" pushed the girl till she collapsed, before her collapse and death they accused her of faking. The GOA also noted that these youth programs have a frighteningly low level of accountability. the founder of the Utah, camp simply moved to another state, and opened another camp, that was also closed down by the state (19 ).

14-year-old Gina Score was run to death in a South Dakota boot camp on July 21, 1999. She was forced to run three miles on her second day at camp and weighed 226 pounds. Other inmates tried to shad her after she collapsed, they were shooed away by staff who yelled "We're not here to make her comfortable!". She died on her way to the hospital after a three hour wait for medical care (20 ).

14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson of Florida took a joyride in his grandmothers car in 2005. The teen was sentence to probation. Later that year he crossed school ground which was in violation of his probation. This violation cost him his life. Three hours after admission to a Boot Camp he was taken to the hospital not breathing. Videotapes showed sheriffs "drill instructors" punching, kicking, slamming to the ground, and dragging the limp body of the unresisting adolescent. Also Anderson reported having difficulty breathing the last of the 16 required laps around the track. Staff felt this was a ruse, when he stop breathing entirely they also felt this was a ruse (21 ).

The eight staff that were charged were found not guilty of the beating death of Martin Lee Anderson. The eight employees were fired from the Boot Camp and Florida's juvenile Boot Camps were abolished. The first coroners report found Anderson undiagnosed sickle cell trait. This can cause the red blood cells to change shape and are unable to carry oxygen when the body is under extreme stress. A second found the guards killed Anderson when they deprived him of Oxygen when they pushed ammonia tablets into his nose, covered his mouth and didn't give him time to recover his breath. A federal investigation is pending (22 ).

The nurse present during this voluntarily gave up here nursing license. An investigation by the state board of nursing found the nurses conduct was unprofessional and negligent, during that incident(23 ).

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youths, boot camps, crime, abuse