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School-Based Juvenile Boot Camps: Evaluating Specialized Treatment and Rehabilitation (STAR)

NCJ Number
Journal for Juvenile Justice and Detention Services Volume: 14 Issue: 1 Dated: Spring 1999 Pages: 19-44
Chad R. Trulson; Ruth Triplett Ph.D.
Date Published
26 pages
Specialized Treatment and Rehabilitation (STAR) is a unique and creative application of the juvenile boot camp concept in that it is school-based and non-residential, and it mandates parental participation.
Implemented in Montgomery County, Texas, STAR deviates from traditional boot camps in a variety of ways. The program is closely coupled with school jurisdictions, the juvenile court, and correctional authorities. In addition, the program is non-residential and serves status, misdemeanor, and felony juvenile offenders and mandates parental participation. STAR was initiated to address several goals: enable individuals to remain in school while reducing their disruptive behavior, use school expulsion as a last resort, improve the academic performance of participants, coordinate a joint effort between juvenile authorities and school jurisdictions, instill a sense of pride and discipline in participants, and reduce the number of criminal referrals to juvenile authorities. The program was evaluated by comparing recidivist outcomes of participants with a group of intensive supervision probationers (ISP) in Conroe, Texas. At 12 months after concluding the program, 53 percent of STAR participants were rearrested compared to 36 percent of ISP participants. Additionally, STAR participants were rearrested 41 days sooner than ISP participants and were significantly more serious in their post-release offending. Implications and considerations for future research on juvenile boot camps are discussed. An appendix contains an offense seriousness scale for bivariate comparisons. 45 references and 5 tables