The Polk County Juvenile Boot Camp and Youth For Christ organization are working together to mentor and provide support services to Boot Camp boys and girls in the Transition and Aftercare phases of the Boot Camp program. This unique opportunity allows recruits to establish positive relationships with adults outside the Boot Camp environment. The mentoring program fosters positive relationships for the young men and woman and provides them with an opportunity to become familiar with and maintain contact with individuals in their home neighborhoods. Recently, volunteers from Youth For Christ held a picnic social to get acquainted with Boot Camp Aftercare employees and youth committed to the Aftercare phase program. Youth for Christ mentors also participated in a ride along with Aftercare case managers to view home environments and to get a better understanding of what the case managers do on a daily basis.
The boot camp experience lasts a total of fifteen months: six months in boot camp followed by three months of on-site transition followed by six months of closely monitored aftercare. The Aftercare phase includes psychological assistance, community-based options, community-based solutions, and supervision. Part of the community-based option is a mentoring program performed with the assistance of private service organizations like the Youth for Christ organization. Also associated with the community-based options/solutions is job training skills and employment when appropriate.
The Boot Camp accepts boys and girls, ages 14 to 18, who have been adjudicated guilty by a judge. The Polk County Juvenile Boot Camp is the largest in the State of Florida and has been open since 1994.
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