JUVENILE BOOT CAMPS

 

 

  • Juvenile boot camps are correctional programs for troubled teens which emphasize discipline and physical conditioning.
  • They were developed as an alternative to longer terms of confinement in juvenile correctional facilities.
  • Juvenile boot camps are part of some states’ correctional systems, but are not part of Connecticut's correctional system.
  • There are no juvenile boot camps in Connecticut, and Connecticut courts do not refer juveniles to out of state camps.
  • Connecticut parents who want to send their teen to a boot camp must find one and pay for it themselves. Information on boot camps can be found with an Internet search.

ARE JUVENILE BOOT CAMPS EFFECTIVE?

Some mental health professionals do not believe that boot camps are effective because:

  • Boot camps do not reduce recidivism;
  • Boot camps may not be cost effective;
  • A confrontational approach is not appropriate;
  • Positive changes demonstrated while in the program may not last when a youth returns to his community;
  • Boot camps are not a "quick fix."

ALTERNATIVES TO BOOT CAMPS

Alternatives to boot camps include individualized, family centered programs and small, community based programs.  Character development wilderness programs like Outward Bound are also an option for parents who want their teens immersed in an intensive correctional program outside the home. Connecticut's alternative program is the Wilderness School (http://www.ct.gov/dcf/cwp/view.asp?a=2539&q=313850), in East Hartland, managed by the State Department of Children and Families.  Teens can be referred to the Wilderness School by youth service bureaus, school systems, residential programs, probation and parole offices, and DCF regional offices; tuition assistance may be available from the referring agency.

TO FIND ALTERNATIVES TO BOOT CAMPS IN CONNECTICUT'S COMMUNITY RESOURCES DATABASE:
Search by service names:
Parenting Education
Parent Support Groups
Adolescent/Youth Counseling
Juvenile Delinquency Prevention
Youth Enrichment Programs
or search by agency/program name:
Wilderness School
Family with Service Needs

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PREPARED BY: 211/rj
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: July2014