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Armstrong -

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Law and Human Behavior





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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 the facility's 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 appear to provide a more positive environment conducive to effective rehabilitation considering almost all of the conditions measured. A major concern is that in both types of facilities, juveniles perceived themselves to occasionally be in danger from staff (rated as rarely to sometimes). (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)


©American Psychological Association, [2000]. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. The final article is available, upon publication, at:

This article by co-author, Gaylene S. Armstrong, was published under her maiden name, Gaylene J. Styve.

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