Is Boot Camp effective for juveniles?
Even at a young age, even if that age is so young someone is not allowed to drive yet, no one deserves to get a pass when a serious crime is committed against another, it does nothing for the victims, the victim’s family or the perpetrator. Just like when we were toddlers, kids, and pre-teens, a punishment was a way to show everyone that there is a “right and wrong”, and there are consequences to both actions.
Unfortunately, a young teenager’s brain on average does not process and understand the ramifications like a full grown adult’s brain does – leaving the question that needs to be asked – how does the criminal justice system sentence a young teenager fairly when they have committed adult crimes, particularly ones that include murder?
The basic premise of a teen boot camp is that a defiant teenager subjected to heavy mental and physical subjugation becomes a better person. Inmates at these boot camps face stark, in-your-face disciplinary orders from supervisors, who are just like military sergeants and punishments for the slightest infraction of the rules. There is also an emphasis on physical exercise and mind control. Earlier, supervisors used corporal methods in such camps, but they are now banned by legislation.
Teen boot camps also function by creating uniformity among its members. Teenagers attending such camps have to forgo their contacts with family and friends. They wear uniforms and some teen camps even shave kids’ heads to create more harmony among them. In juvenile boot camps, teenagers are not addressed by their names, so that no one is given particular importance. The period that a teenager spends at a boot-camp is followed by a period of aftercare. This aftercare is usually a mentoring period, where problems of the juvenile are discussed, and solutions are drawn. During this period, some job-training skills may also be taught.
The effects of teen boot camps on the minds of young adolescents are a controversial issue. Experts feel that boot camps do nothing to improve the youth; in fact they are detrimental. According to them, the effects of boot camps are highly temporary and forgotten once the camp is over. Also youth who live under subjugation for a period of time become more defiant later in life.
An excellent alternative is an at-home behavioral program that was designed by a therapist who was once a troubled teen himself. Now a huge success story with his program used in almost two hundred thousand homes around the globe, he is a shining example of how simple behavioral techniques can affect a lasting transformation in a child. Of course, there are also the countless parents who have used his techniques to help change their kids behavior and the kids whose lives he has helped transformed in the school system and his private practice. This is an effective alternative to teen boot camp with a high success rate. The secret to success is to learn and apply the principles at home.
Learning simple behavioral strategies is a must for every parent. After all, we are creatures of habit, but habitual behaviors can be transformed. It is even better when the people who love us can participate in our transformation because that makes the victory that much more real.
For those parents who feel that things have gone too far-that they need outside help-teen boot camp is also a good option.