Can prison boot camps reform young defenders?

In spite of the broad consensus concerning the kinds of factors that make any juvenile justice system effective, most communities do not exploit the necessary elements. In part, this result is dictated by public demand for politicians to "get tough" on juvenile crime. Yet, some communities have been capable to achieve effective reforms in a political environment charged with a "get tough" mentality. The Missouri model indicates that well tailored community and media approaches can sell needed reform to a punishment-oriented public. (David Jacobs, Ronald Helms, 1999).

Even as achieving progressive reform of the juvenile justice system is essentially political, the value of progressive reform is not. Progressive proposals are neither soft, nor hard: they are smart. They attain the results the public demands, by lowering recidivism and reducing juvenile violent crime, even if they do not convene the demands of public opinion. Yes Prison programs such as “boot camps” range from carefully designed, extensively monitored experiments for a handful of selected prisoners, to the GED (General Equivalency Diploma) classes and trades programs conducted as part of many prisons' normal offerings.

With an emphasis on testing whether a particular program design—“boot camp” or sex-offender treatment or the like have an effect upon recidivism rates. Yet the majority prisoners participate not in such programs but, when at all, in routine literacy and educational programs: adult basic education, the GED, and some vocational training. Seventy-five percent of all state and federal prisons provide adult basic education, eighty percent offer the chance to get a high school diploma or GED, sixty percent provide vocational training, forty percent prison industries, and thirty five percent college-level course work.

More than twenty percent of all prisoners participate in the educational programs offered. Yes, juvenile crime is a serious problem in the schools’ Crime. Americans ever more view their world as a dangerous and violent place to live, and, in response, favours increasingly harsh sanctions for criminal activity. This "get tough" state of mind has flowed from the public debate into the state legislatures and often focuses on juvenile crime.

In current years, state legislatures have passed a diversity of measures mandating harsher sentences for violent juveniles, easing limits on transferring juvenile cases to adult court, and easing public access to juvenile court records. Recent Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) statistics indicates that public and state government concern about juvenile crime is not speculative. Though the overall violent crime rate has dropped in recent years, and is presently at its lowest rate since ninety, the current rate is still significantly higher than in 1985.

According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, juvenile arrests for violent crime in school increased by 47% between 1988 and 1992, while adult arrests for violent crime increased by only 19% over the same period. Although the rate of juvenile violent crime arrests was fairly constant from 1972 until the late 19980s, it broke out of its historic range in 2000s and has grown persistently since (Bard R. Ferrall 2002). In response to these increases in juvenile crime and the momentous media attention paid to them, a policymaker is taking action to strengthen sanctions on juveniles. This legislative reaction is a comparatively new trend.

Because it is based on a theory that incapacitation or other punishment is the most efficient way to counter juvenile crime, this lawmaking reaction departs from the rehabilitative tradition underlying juvenile corrections. Historically, four different goals have formed the basis of juvenile corrections’ policy, each goal relying on diverse presumptions. Programs for juvenile offenders have been based on the philosophical goals of rehabilitation, deterrence, incapacitation, or "just desserts" (re contribution). Corrections’ policies attempt to further some blend of these goals.

Hence, noteworthy new influences developed to modify the common judicial process as it applied to the young offender. There is a comprehensive administrative emphasis today on the need to find the fundamental social and psychological maladjustments of the child in the court, to perceive the total problem, and to determine his difficulties by probation treatment. The specific aberrant act is considered to be moderately unimportant except as a symptom of the real problems. The model juvenile court statute of the National Probation Association neither defines the term "delinquent" nor be relevant it to court cases (Goddard, 2004).