Eagle Academy, Florida

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Information
Current status Closed [1]
Detainees.gif Capacity 120
Checked October 16, 2010
Open.gif Opened 1997
Close.gif Closed December, 2010 [1]

PBSO Eagle Academy is a boot camp-styled school or behavior modification facility. The facility is located on 33800, State Road 80, Belle Glade, Florida [2]

It is the remaining boot camp in Florida after Governor Jeb Bush closed the other ones after the death of 14 year old Martin Lee Anderson. The reason for the camp avoiding closure is that the detainees have to sign up voluntarily. They have to write an essay in order to be committed [3]

The facility has room for 71 inmates.

The target group is "at-risk" girls and boys between 13 and 16 years of age. They have to be resident in Palm Beach County. Once accepted there are no fees beside some clothes and personal items like soap, sunscreen, deodorant etc.

They also need to have no felonies on their police records [4]

Misdemeanors are no problem. In fact a lot of those issues, the facility are to correct, are categorizes as misdemeanors [5]. The camp was featured in the movie "High School Boot Camp" [6]. However, this movie was criticized due to its lack of a follow-up of the destiny of the detainees after the had left the facility [7].

Program description

Three phases

The program is designed to last 6 month on the camp-site and 3 month after-care in the home of the children.

On the first phase of the program, the detainees are physically challenged by drill instructors screaming and demanding ridiculous loads of exercise. In fact the application warns the parents that: "The candidates will be subjected to physically challenging and competitive training and exercises!".

An article by Nina Hermann,Ina Agency describes how the first of a new group of girls vomit just after leaving the bus.

The second phase focus on school work. Schooling is provided by the local school district. The third and last phase is a follow up when the child has graduated with a mix of visits and phone-calls.

Parent involvement

The parents are forced to attend classes in parenting and also forces to visit the camp several times during the program.

Consequences

According to an article published by BBC any misdemeanor - a button not done up, a word out of place or being late for lunch could result in 10 press-ups or 20 star jumps [8]. Good behavior are rewarded by ability to watch movies and hang out with the staff in the gym.

Voluntary?

In an article about the program, a phone call is described between a girl and her mother. The crying girls wants to go home, but the mother bashed her by blaming her lack of commitment. The girls breaks down and ends up sleeping on the floor as punishment [9]. That is not the official policy when they are advertising in the media. They claim that they interview each applicant separately from the parents and if the child's say that is it forced to attend, the child would not be accepted [10].

Outcome

The program claims to have helped about 80 percent of the detainees to a good and long productive life like their latest role model - Chasson Henry [11]

In the News

One of the drill instructors were arrested on the charge of 'battery touch or strike' and 'fraud, false statement.' [12] [13]

In februar 2008 a new incident of abuse were investigated when a staff member picked on a boy, who had vomitted. With a towel the staff member wiped the vomit from the floor, then rubbed the towel in the boy's face [14]

Another typical outcome of the program was demonstrated when one of the graduates was shot suspected of stealing a car [15]

April 2010 it was announced that the sheriff department could save $4.5 million by closing the boot camp[16]. The closure is up to the politicians.

September 2010 it was revealed that they will close after the graduation of the present teenager [1]

See also

External links

Info pages

Survivor groups

References

  1. 1,0 1,1 1,2 Final decision to shut down PBSO Eagle Academy comes Tuesday at County Commission meeting, By Jerome Burdi, Sun Sentine, September 25, 2010]
  2. The facility on Google maps
  3. Paragraph "Kids have a say", Transcript on Project Nospank
  4. The secret to Eagle Academy's success? `We're not a boot camp' (Sun-Sentinel.com)
  5. Application form, Page four, Facility homepage
  6. Movie on IMDB, IMDB
  7. A real-life look at 'last chance' for teens, JS Online
  8. American tearaways volunteer for discipline (BBC), BBC
  9. Teenagers in boot camp. "They need to be broken", by Nina Hermann, Ina Agency (In Danish published in "Alt for Damerne" 2007, Norwegian version here)
  10. Eagle Academy marks 10 years of helping youth, Palm Beach Post, June 6, L.J. Margolis
  11. Press release from the facility, Facility homepage
  12. PBSO Eagle Academy Deputy Arrested, Newschannel 5, October 25 - 2007
  13. Video refutes deputies' reports on use of force on academy teen, By KATHLEEN CHAPMAN, palmbeachpost.com, October 31 - 2007
  14. Palm Beach County youth camp deputy faces trial on abuse charges - Investigators say deputy slammed boy to ground after the teenager got sick, By Rachel Hatzipanagos, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, February 2 2008
  15. Deputy fatally shoots teen he said tried to run him over in stolen car, By Jerome Burdi, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, August 3 2008
  16. Palm Beach County sheriff calls for cutting ‘Drug Farm’ and teen military-style school, By Andy Reid, Sun Sentinel, April 29, 2010