Critics claim they’re little more than ’torture camps’, taking tough love way too far. But for desperate parents, military-style boot camps are often seen as the last chance for their children to avoid the vicious cycle of delinquency and jail.
We spent five months at the Discovery Challenge Academy, which welcomes 125 troubled adolescents every year. The first two weeks are the hardest. Everything is strictly regimented: 10 minutes to eat, 2 minutes to shower, 10 seconds to put on socks. There are 50 beds per dormitory and even going to the bathroom requires permission. Phones, TVs and the internet are all banned, as is seeing family during the first three months.
Who are these young people? How did they get there and what trials and challenges will they have to overcome?
70,000 minors are currently in American prisons. How can it be that so many children end up behind bars?More info
Why are children as young as five being arrested in schools across the USA?More info
Every year, thousands of American teenagers are kidnapped from their homes and shipped to Christian reform schools abroad on their parents’ orders.More info