Demonstrators Sound Off on Florida's Boot Camps

By: Leonard Horton
By: Leonard Horton

Demonstrators could be heard from a mile away. All were critical of Florida's boot camp system and want to see it come to an end.

Members of the Justice for Kids organization out of Pinellas County, Florida stood on the capital steps hoping to get the attention of lawmakers on this juvenile justice day.

Members say the death of Martin Lee Anderson should be enough to shut the camps down for good.

"Unless we address this, we are going to continue to see this kind of situation happen and worsen, and much of what happens in the boot camps even before this death happened would be considered abuse in any other setting," says Bruce Wright with the Pinellas County Juvenile Justice Council.

"The boot camps are a specific problem. They have a high turnover rate. There manner of rehabilitation is through fear and force, which, in my opinion, doesn't work," says Cathy Corry, founder of Justice for Kids, an advocacy group.

The Associated Press reports state lawmakers are pressuring the DJJ to save a boot camp in Martin County that's considered the best of its kind in the state.

Meanwhile, the Bay County Boot Camp remains closed following Anderson's death, leaving Florida with four remaining camps.


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