The Troubled Youth Problem Solved:
Send Them To Boot Camp
Kings Kid Boot Camp 2006
Boot camps may be used for many different reasons, get fit quick, lose weight, stop taking drugs etc. But they may be the ultimate solution for many of the problems for the troubled youth of today.
Many of these problems stem from the environment that young people today are growing up in. This environment of war and global warming creating a blurry picture of how should one act in society and what future do we have? Means our young ones are troubled and governments have to run boot camps to:
- Help young people learn how to behave in society
- Used as an intense program of rehabilitation
- In exchange for a shorter prison term
Learning to behave in society can be easy if you are brought up in a safe loving family but for those brought up in the gang areas of America this can be a fight for life. This is where these government boot camps provide a way for teenagers to believe in themselves and their dreams.
Many government boot camp programs are also linked to the judicial system and are in exchange for regular prison time. In other cases, troubled teenagers or children may have general problems behaving and going to school, so his or her parents send them to a voluntary boot camp or "wilderness camp".
Where youth have an intense disciplined experience, with greater educational opportunities and more counselling.
So how does one create success for the youths involved?
The emphasis is to have a program with less general creature comforts, with no social life, no meeting the opposite sex, no drugs or alcohol, and no television.
A program where the children have to find the will power and strength with in themselves to show that they can do it, that there is more to life than what they know. Push them out of their comfort zone and help them succeed.
In terms of boot camps for arrested juvenile defendants, they emphasize discipline and physical conditioning. The young people are made to exercise, run, jump and play sports. Helping them create the discipline through team sport and become more socially aware of their actions through the interaction with others.
Time is of the essence…
One program ran boot camps in Mobile, Ala. and two other locations. The youthful offenders attended the boot camp for three months spending all their time under the strict guidance of the boot camp team.
After they returned home they were in a program of six to nine months of aftercare, with a strong emphasis on vocational training and employment.
Outstanding results were achieved by the youth involved in the program in Mobile, Ala. The young people improved their academic performance at an exponential rate, on average, improving their spelling, language, reading and math scores by one grade level or more.
Most of the young people who were a part of the aftercare program were able to get employment and keep it.
The success of these programs can be due to their complete immersion nature. The young people who attend are kept away from the troubled environments they come from and given a caring, yet strict and disciplined environment where failure is not tolerated and success is celebrated.
This can prove a problem for the on going success of the young people involved when they return from there three month disciplined boot camp to the unsafe, undisciplined environment of home.
Authorities and parents have learned from these programs that environment and attitude are the key factors in success. The advantage of being in these boot camp programs is most of the young people concentrated more and learnt quicker and easier.
They learned greater physical education and sports skills. Many even learned reading, writing and mathematical skills at a higher rate than that of being in school.
Once young people left the program the rate of returning to some time of crime was about as high as other programs such as imprisonment. The programs may be producing smarter young people, but that doesn't necessarily lower the rate of recidivism.
The disadvantage of these programs is that many of the young people involved both male and female lived in environments infested with gangs.
Therefore returning to these environments made it hard to continue their growth. For example, it was important to put the aftercare centres in places that were gang-neutral, like downtown centres or government buildings.
In a certain sense, we need to update these programs for the youth of today, create another model of the present boot camp, a CCC type camp/or job, like the famous CCC-camps of the 1930s, which gave jobs and hope to youth in the Great Depression.
Towards a better future
If we want to create a better future for the youth of today these boot camp programs may be a good first step. Still it is important that we consider that there may be better options or solutions that are more suitable and acceptable for the different environments these troubled teens live in.
The ultimate goal is to give youth long term hope for skilled jobs and a brighter future.