Military Schools for Juveniles


Military Schools for Juveniles

Military Schools for JuvenilesWhat

are Military Schools for Juveniles? Military Schools

are treatment programs for struggling youth in a military-style

environment. These programs typically emphasize discipline

and physical conditioning and were developed as a rigorous

alternative to longer terms of confinement in juvenile

correctional facilities. Military Schools are generally

restricted to teens with little or mild behavioral issues.

Military Schools are not an appropriate setting for teens

experiencing emotional, behavioral, substance abuse, or

learning problems.

The idea of “shock incarceration”

as a tough alternative to more intensive programming

brought about the establishment of military-style

boarding schools for troubled Juveniles.

Military Schools for JuvenilesAre

Military Schools for Juveniles Effective?

Experts agree that a confrontational approach is not appropriate.

Most treatment care and military experts agree that a

confrontational model, employing tactics of intimidation

and humiliation, is counterproductive for most youth.

For youth with emotional, behavioral, substance abuse,

or learning problems-degrading tactics may be particularly

inappropriate and potentially damaging. The bullying style

and aggressive interactions that characterize the Military

Schools environment fail to model the pro-social behavior

and development of empathy that these juveniles really need

to learn.

Positive changes demonstrated while

in Military Schools usually do not last when a teen returns

to his community. Many teens report that the

program is helpful to them and they feel more positive

about their futures. It is unclear, however, whether these

attitudinal changes persist after teens leave the Military

School, or whether they are related to actual changes

in behavior once a youth returns to his community. Without

significant therapeutic intervention while in the program,

as well as specialized aftercare following release, Military

Schools have been consistently unsuccessful in “changing”


What are the alternatives?

Juveniles who need some form of treatment care require an individualized

approach that takes their strengths and needs into account.

Programs and policies should be family-centered – including

the family in all decision making about a child – as well as

culturally and developmentally appropriate. Research has shown

that small, family-centered programs are more effective than

Military Schools in the long term.

Give us a call and together we can discuss

the best course of action for your child. We can be reached

any time at 1-866-490-3666.