In a national study of juvenile correctional facilities, the perceived environment of 22 juvenile boot camps was compared to the perceived environment of 22 traditional facilities.
Self-report surveys completed by 4,121 juveniles recorded information on demographics, risk factors, and perceptions of facility environment. Compared to juveniles in traditional correctional facilities, boot camp residents consistently perceived the environment as significantly more controlled, active, and structured and as having less danger from other residents. Boot camp juveniles also perceived the environment as providing more therapeutic and transitional programming. Overall, from the perspective of the juveniles, boot camps appeared to provide a more positive environment conducive to effective rehabilitation, considering almost all the conditions measured. A major concern in both types of facilities was that juveniles perceived being occasionally in danger from staff. 48 references and 2 tables