Boot Camp Crisis

Statistics compiled by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office over a 12-year period show a shockingly high recidivism rate for youths sent to that county’s boot camp. Out of 740 boot campers, only 74 were NOT arrested again. That’s a recidivism rate of 90 per cent.

What’s become increasingly obvious about such centers around Florida is that their detractors have much more ammunition than the controversial death of a 14-year-old in a Bay County boot camp. They can say they don’t work. They’re not camps; they’re incubators.

And the rest of us can finally acknowledge what it was about boot camps that appealed to us in the first place. It was the name – and what it connoted. As in, show these punks some discipline before it’s too late. As in, an alternative to an ineffectual, revolving-door juvenile justice system.

As in, now what?

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