Boot Camps: Banned in Florida by Govenor Jeb Bush
but Generally Accepted in Oklahoma
Boot camps were banned in Florida on June 1, 2005 through legislation signed by Florida Governor Jeb Bush after 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson was murdered by drill instructors who forcibly inserted ammonia tablets into his nose. Anderson attended Bay County Boot Camp in Panama City, Florida. After the mid-1990s, the number of boot camps declined. By 2000, nearly one-third of State prison boot camps had closed--only 51 camps remained. (See: NIJ study below.) The average daily population in State boot camps also dropped more than 30 percent.
The National Institute of Justice conducted a 10 year long study of boot camps and their report dated 2003
is available at the web site: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij or: http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/197018.pdf
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) sponsored an analysis of research conducted over a 10-year period beginning in the late 1980s. This analysis concluded that [See above link for the report dated (2003)] - it concluded: Mixed Results:
Participants reported positive short-term changes in attitudes and behaviors;
they also had better problem-solving and coping skills.
With few exceptions, these positive changes did not lead to reduced recidivism. The boot camps that did produce lower recidivism rates offeredmore treatment services, had longer sessions, and included more intensive post release supervision. However, not all programs with these features hadsuccessful results.
Under a narrow set of conditions, boot camps can lead to small relative reductions in prison populations and correctional costs.
Adult recidivism. A multisite evaluation sponsored by NIJ could not establish adifference in recidivism between adult boot camp graduates and comparisongroup members, although the research indicated that more treatment services,
longer programs, and intensive post- release supervision may lower recidivism.
Other research on adult boot camps in Georgia and Illinois found no differencein recidivism. An evaluation of Washington's Work Ethic Camp (WEC)actually found higher recidivism, from high rates of revoked parole. Most ofthese were technical violations. One study found that Oregon adult bootcamp graduates had significantly lower recidivism than the comparison group,but results were flawed because camp dropouts were excluded from theanalysis.
After the mid-1990s, the number of boot camps declined. By 2000, nearlyone-third of State prison boot camps had closed--only 51 camps remained. The average daily population in State boot camps also dropped more than 30 percent.
NIJ evaluation studies consistently showed that boot camps did not reduce recidivism regardless of whether the camps were for adults or juveniles or whether they were first-generation programs with a heavy military emphasis orlater programs with more emphasis on treatment.
NIJ-sponsored boot camp researchers agree that correctional boot camps might achieve small relative reductions in prison populations. Boot campscould reduce the number of prison beds needed in a jurisdiction, which would lead to modest reductions in correctional costs.
Other countries have been closely watching the boot camp system in the US but so far have been slow to copy it, if at all. In Canada and Europe many see US society as highly militarised for which the military style boot camps are just another example. After having shed a very militaristic past, Europeans tend to be quite wary of military influence in civil society. As well, the tactics employed in most boot camps are considered to infringe on the human rights of the affected and to be rather totalitarian. Therefore in Canada participation in boot camp programmes are voluntary, so as to avoid any challenges under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms under which treatment at boot camps could be seen as an infringement on a youth's right to not be subject to cruel and unusual punishment and to ensure security of person. Canada started a boot camp project for non-violent juveniles with subtle but distinct differences from the American models. The first one was opened in 1997 in Ontario. Unlike in the US system it is not possible to trade or shorten a jail sentence with a significantly shorter boot camp programme. Canadian boot camps do not have the time frame of 90 to 180 days and they are restricted to juveniles up to the age of 17 and not yet open for female offenders. The judges do not directly possess the authority to send a youth to a boot camp. They may impose a sentence of secure or open custody. The latter is defined as, "a community residential centre, group home, child care institution or forest or wilderness camp . . .". Once an open custody sentence is granted, a correctional official decides whether a sentence is served in a boot camp programme. But the ultimate decision rests with the young person and the decision is made purely on the merits of the programme because the time served remains the same.
The Canadian system is too young to show any comparable results but research has been done among US boot camps with different emphasises, e. g. more on drug treatment or education than solely on military drill. According to the findings treatment has a slightly positive impact on the reduction of recidivism over strict discipline.
However, altogether there are no research findings in favour of boot camps in light of any of the initial intentions. Recidivism rates in the US among former prison inmates and boot camp participants are roughly the same. Yet, the effects of boot camps are controversially disputed, some surveys claiming lower re-offence rates, others showing no change as compared to persons serving normal time. Surveys also show different results concerning the reduction of costs. Critics add, that the emphasis on authority can only result in frustration, resentment, anger, short temper, a low self-esteem and aggression rather than respect. According to a report in the New York Times there have been 30 known deaths of youths in US boot camps since 1980.
Oklahoma Youthful Offender Boot Camps & RID Program - Boot Camps Banned in Florida but Accepted by Oklahomans
Boot Camps: Banned in Florida by Govenor Jeb Bush