Boot Camp Guards Charged With Teen’s Killing


Eleven months ago, seven guards at a Florida teen-offender “boot camp” were caught on tape kicking and stomping a 14-year-old inmate – who died the next day. The incident led Governor Jeb Bush to dismantle the state’s military-style camps for young offenders, cost a top law enforcement officer his job, and have now culminated in manslaughter charges against the guards.

All of which marks the latest and perhaps most serious blow to the once-popular idea of reforming troubled teens in such places. It’s an issue Mother Jones highligted several years ago in a piece about the death of another teen in a different boot camp.

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  • Vince Beiser, a former Mother Jones senior editor, has reported from more than 30 countries—on troop training in Iraq, natural disasters in Haiti, and prison conditions in California.