Essay on Teenage Boot Camps - Not The Way To Achieve Discipline

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Boot camps for teenagers have become a popular disciplinary option for parents with adolescent children. Often recommended by counselors or by state justice systems as an alternative to juvenile detention centers, the boot camps are rigid military environments. Some are wilderness camps that teach young people survival skills in a military-like setting, while others are held closer to home. Many are state-run in conjunction with the justice system but many are also privately owned and operated. The boot camps have come under intense scrutiny because of suspicions of abuse and because dozens of teenagers have died of preventable causes at the camps. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) denounced adolescent boot camps because of the…show more content…
Instead of learning how to discipline their unruly teens, parents are letting boot camp leaders do their dirty work for them. Parents pay large sums of money to avoid taking responsibility for their own children. The assumption is that the boot camp environment will teach the adolescent discipline and respect for authority. In fact, the opposite may be true. The CRC Health Group notes: “It is more likely this type of setting will create more hostility and resentment toward authority figures.” Teenagers are almost defined by their rebelliousness. While delinquency does warrant disciplinary action, the nature of that action does not need to involve the quick-fix techniques that boot camps promise will erase bad behavior from teenagers. Although undoubtedly boot camps will claim success stories, many teens who are forced to endure the traumatic experience are highly likely to emerge more embittered and aggressive than when they first checked in. Research reveals possible reasons for why boot camps do not work: “In some cases, attendees committed more serious crimes after boot camp because they had learned techniques from their contact with more experienced offenders.” Boot camps are an easy way out for parents and for the overburdened criminal justice system. Some teenagers are sent to boot camps for nonviolent offenses like smoking

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