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Congress Inspects Juvenile 'Boot Camps'

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Congress Inspects Juvenile 'Boot Camps'

U.S.

Congress Inspects Juvenile 'Boot Camps'

Congress Inspects Juvenile 'Boot Camps'

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/15149800/15149779" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Congress is looking into the issue of juvenile "boot camps," which try to reform troubled teenagers using strict military-like regimens.

The House Education and Labor Committee, chaired by Rep. George Miller (D-CA), is holding a hearing Wednesday to investigate why children have died at some of these camps, as well as allegations that kids have been beaten and molested by camp counselors.

Kansas City Star reporter Steve Rock says one of the camps the committee will be focusing on is Thayer Learning Center in Kidder, Mo., where a 15-year-old boy died a few years ago.

Rock says parents, teens and others familiar with Thayer have described the center's rules as especially strict. Children are allegedly allowed few bathroom breaks, resulting in many of the teens soiling themselves regularly. There have also been allegations of teens being dragged around a dirt track. But because the center is private, local officials in Missouri say it is difficult for them to investigate these allegations.

Rock talks to Alex Chadwick about Thayer and calls to regulate these camps.

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