Military Schools in America


Military Schools in America

Military Schools in AmericaWhat

are Military Schools in America? Military Schools in America 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 youth.

Military Schools forAre

Military Schools in America 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 teens really need

to learn.

Positive changes demonstrated while

in Military Schools usually do not last when a teen returns

to his community. Many American 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 in America have been consistently unsuccessful in “changing”


What are the alternatives?

American teens 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.