Teen boot camps are modeled along the lines of military boot camps where troubled teens are made to live in barracks and follow military-like discipline. The concept is controversial with advocates saying that it helps enforce discipline and provides structure to a troubled teen’s life. Conversely, those who oppose it say that it is cruel and doesn’t address the root of the problem.

Teen boot camps were first introduced as an alternative to jail where juvenile delinquents could serve out their sentence. Over time, the concept began to be implemented in a privately-run context removed from the state.

According to some, boot camps can provide a semblance of normalcy, discipline and organization to a teen’s life. Depending on the personality and the type of problem a teen is suffering from, it does, to an extent, help turn their lives around. But the fact remains that as a therapeutic solution, boot camps are useless. In fact, they may only exacerbate the problem in some teens as there is no move to find out the cause of the issue.

The bottom line is that boot camps should only be considered for teens having a criminal tendency. Those with other issues such as self-harm and substance abuse are much better off treated at a teen help center where therapy is the underlying theme of the treatment program.