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Boot Camp/Youth Challenge Program, Planning Study

NCJ Number
Date Published
82 pages
The Youth Challenge Program, established by Guam's Department of Youth Affairs, is designed to be an alternative to longer incarceration for youthful offenders who meet approved eligibility criteria and to serve as a voluntary alternative educational experience for eligible youth who have dropped out of school and who are recommended for enrollment by police, courts, community service agencies, government agencies, and concerned adults.
The purpose of the program is to change the behavior of nonviolent, at-risk, and delinquent youth through a nontraditional, highly structured program. Young people in the program are challenged and held accountable while being engaged in a daily routine of physical fitness, hard work, education, counseling, and community service. The program is also intended to relieve crowding in juvenile institutions by reducing the number of nonviolent offenders, to offer a wider range of sentencing options to juvenile judges, and to incorporate Youth Challenge concepts into a rehabilitation model for at-risk youth and juvenile offenders. Further, the program is designed to provide an additional program placement option for young people who are at high risk for committing crimes, abusing illegal substances, and failing to complete high school; to develop a Youth Challenge facility with a residential component, a day reporting component, and an aftercare component to enhance early and continuous family and community involvement in treatment goals; and to better focus the expenditure of juvenile correctional dollars on treatment options that serve several at- risk populations in an integrated model. Specific components of the Youth Challenge Program and the physical plant design are detailed. The multiagency model employed by the Youth Challenge Program is described. Program eligibility criteria and behavioral expectations for youth after program completion are noted, and youth selection and enrollment processes are outlined. Particular attention is paid to such program components as counseling services, family involvement, educational services, vocational assessment and employment training, physical activities, religious services, and recreation. A rather lengthy section of the report includes a review of boot camp research and boot camp successes and failures in several other jurisdictions. 61 references, 3 figures, and 10 photographs