Maryland approves youth boot camp

June 23, 1994|By John W. Frece | John W. Frece,Sun Staff Writer

Hoping that discipline and rigorous training will shake some sense into young offenders, state officials agreed yesterday to set up Maryland's first boot camp for juvenile delinquents.

The Board of Public Works awarded a Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization a $7.8 million contract to run the program for three years at a Juvenile Services facility in Doncaster in Southern Maryland.

Modeled in some ways after boot camps for adult prisoners, but with a greater emphasis on education and vocational training, the new program will handle 30 young men at a time. After a 90-day stay, each youth will be tracked and counseled for nine months to a year.

The camp will serve youths ages 15 to 18, most of whom will be serving time for property crimes such as auto theft, officials said. They said it would not accept offenders with mental or health problems or those who have been convicted of a crime of violence or one involving drug or alcohol abuse.

The North American Family Institute Inc. of Danvers, Mass., which runs a similar program in Cleveland, is expected to take over the Doncaster facility July 1. The first 10 juveniles are expected to arrive Aug. 1.

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