By Arianna Locatell
After graphic videos were released earlier this year depicting youth boot camp instructors mistreating adolescents by verbally abusing them, forcing them to consume water until vomiting and inducing excessive fatigue by forcing them to carry tires around their necks, the Pasadena Police Department conducted an investigation in which the camp director was charged with kidnapping, child abuse, false imprisonment and sexual assault. That suspect remains in custody.
In reaction to this incident, Senator Liu and Assembly member Portantino introduced SB 1089 to ensure licensing and proper regulation of boot camp providers.
A number of youth boot camps provide children that struggle with behavioral issues structure and discipline, but the camps are often unregulated. Assembly member Portantino says “It is challenging and often exhausting dealing with a troubled child -whether their difficulties are emotional, behavioral, or related to substance abuse. As parents, we make think that our children need some tough love, but sometimes these military-style boot camps cross the line.” Nationwide, hundreds of unregulated boot camps face thousands of abuse allegations, including death. Portantino continues, “that’s why we need some kind of regulation, some oversight over these camps. There are no federal regulations and at this point, no state regulations for these military-style programs.”
SB 1089 will require the necessary oversight of private organizations and youth boot camps. Senator Liu says that “SB 1089 requires organizations that provide aggressive military style behavior treatment services for at-risk youth to have all components of their programs accredited by an independent accrediting organization approved by the Department of Social Services.”
Pasadena’s Chief of Police, Phillip L. Sanchez says “the Pasadena Police Department fully supports SB 1089, in the protection of our youth. This legislation will help regulate and provide parents with licensed boot camp choices that will assist them in enriching the lives of their children.”
“All of us must work together to prevent child abuse. If signed, Senate Bill 1089 will protect youth in boot camps across California,” says Liu. So far, the bill has received undisputed support from the Legislature. For those in support of SB 1089, Senator Liu says “I urge you to contact the members of the Assembly Appropriations Committee and ask for their AYE vote on SB 1089.” This bill will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations committee on August 8th.
Assemlyman Anthony Portantino, Carol Liu and Chief Sanchez at the Pasadena City Hall Tuesday. -Photo by Terry Miller
Senator Liu, Assembly member Portantino and Chief Sanchez Urge Enactment of Bill to Prevent Youth Boot Camp Abuse
By Arianna Locatell