Chapter ThreeWILDERNESS EXPERIENCE PROGRAMS
Wilderness Programs Became popular after WWII Typically outdoor, adventure-based programs created to provide therapeutic...
Wilderness Experience Programs Dated back to the early 1900s when state hospitals  used tent therapy as an intervention f...
Types of Wilderness Programs Therapeutic programs – insight oriented therapy; use  challenges found naturally in wilderne...
Types of Wilderness Programs Best way to identify a wilderness program is to determine  the significance of its outdoor c...
Types of Wilderness Programs WEPs can also be adjudicated or private placement program     Adjudicated programs – also c...
Types of Wilderness Programs                    Adventure Based Therapy Consists of outdoor activities that are therapeut...
Types of Wilderness Programs                             Wilderness Therapy Uses traditional counseling techniques in an ...
Effectiveness of Wilderness Programs In the past few decades, WEPs have become a popular intervention and    alternative ...
The Future of WEPs in the Juvenile Justice System No longer merely alternatives for the worst adjudicated offender or    ...
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Juvenile corrections pp week 3

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Juvenile corrections pp week 3

  1. 1. Chapter ThreeWILDERNESS EXPERIENCE PROGRAMS
  2. 2. Wilderness Programs Became popular after WWII Typically outdoor, adventure-based programs created to provide therapeutic inventions for at-risk youth They offer adventure based therapy, wilderness therapy, outdoor behavioral healthcare, experiential learning, or education and wilderness boot camps Provides personal growth, therapy, rehabilitation, education, and leadership/organizational development for delinquent youth as an alternative to juvenile detention or commitment The idea was that removing juveniles from their usual environment (typically urban) and placing them in nature was therapeutic Offenses committed by youths are generally not serious and the youth typically do not have histories of persistent delinquency Placement in these programs typically lasts six to nine months In 2004, 118 WEPs were operating in the U.S., about 60% were privately owned and 53% held from 21 to 50 residents Very popular programs, but the effectiveness is questionable
  3. 3. Wilderness Experience Programs Dated back to the early 1900s when state hospitals used tent therapy as an intervention for adult psychiatric patients, but quickly faded In the mid-20th century, therapeutic camps were established to monitor, diagnose, and provide psychotherapy for troubled youth Outward Bound program – 1946 – model for contemporary wilderness programs
  4. 4. Types of Wilderness Programs Therapeutic programs – insight oriented therapy; use challenges found naturally in wilderness settings to encourage youth to see themselves from a different perspective Adventure programs – designed for recreational purposes, but can also be used therapeutically; not always geared toward changing one’s behavior or self concept Challenge programs – may use a wilderness component or include activities involving human created challenges to encourage behavior modification, which may include intimidation tactics, cooperative games, trust activities, and wilderness expeditions; generally focus on behavior modification and can include a boot camp component
  5. 5. Types of Wilderness Programs Best way to identify a wilderness program is to determine the significance of its outdoor component, typically following one of the following formats:  Base camp expedition (BE) – youth and leaders or team setting up base camping area in remote and natural settings, generally lasting three to eight weeks with expeditions lasting one to two weeks. During the expeditions, youths are taken from base camps and backpack, canoe, or raft.  Contained expedition programs (CE) – take participants on expeditions for the duration of the program, remaining as an intact unit for three to four weeks.  Continuous flow programs (CFE) – generally last up to eight weeks. Referred to as “continuous flow” because expedition leaders do not stay to entire duration of the trip; they work a few days, then take a few off. New participants also may join the expedition in mid-program.  Residential expedition programs
  6. 6. Types of Wilderness Programs WEPs can also be adjudicated or private placement program  Adjudicated programs – also called court programs; often utilize base camp supplemented by overnight wilderness excursions; typically require one-year commitment as an alternative to incarceration. The typical participant has a history with juvenile justice systems and is usually from a single parent, lower income background with behavioral problems such as substance abuse, school failure or dropout, sexual promiscuity, running away, and resistance to authority  Private placement programs – most common type of contemporary WEP; participants are typically White, male, age 13 to 17 years who are from middle to upper class backgrounds that usually do not have previous involvement with the justice system with no serious emotional problems; presented as options for parents or custodians of troubled teens; youths have previously failed to benefit from outpatient or community mental health programs; may serve as an intervention
  7. 7. Types of Wilderness Programs Adventure Based Therapy Consists of outdoor activities that are therapeutic May include group-based activities and outdoor intervention methods such as: outdoor education; outdoor leadership training; mountaineering; rock climbing; whitewater rafting; kayaking; backpacking; expeditions Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Required to have clinically-licensed staff members available to youth who have been adjudicated delinquent or youth with special needs Must have a treatment team present – clinical supervisor, medical supervisor, field therapist, and wilderness guides Aimed at changing destructive, dysfunctional or problem behaviors in clients through clinically supervised therapy, therapeutic activities and educational programs in an outdoor setting
  8. 8. Types of Wilderness Programs Wilderness Therapy Uses traditional counseling techniques in an outdoor setting that incorporates adventure based activities Participants stay in an isolated area for anywhere from one week to one month Long-Term Residential Camping Forces the participants to provide for their own survival needs The wilderness component last throughout the entire program, from several months to over a year Wilderness Boot Camps Military style training program to shock offenders out of criminal behavior Characterized as: programs designed with military regimes and routines; discipline and rules adopted from the armed services’ model; and secured facility intended to be a community alternative to traditional prison
  9. 9. Effectiveness of Wilderness Programs In the past few decades, WEPs have become a popular intervention and alternative to commitment for troubled adolescents Variations in WEPs make it difficult to measure effectiveness Studies have shown that participants in WEPs improved their behaviors and had higher levels of positive self concept, self esteem and self image Believed to be effective in reducing recidivism, but only a few studies support it On the other hand, a series of deaths have been attributed to a lack of care provided in some WEPs. A US Government Accountability Office review found that thousands of allegations of abuse and highlighted ten fatalities In addition to serious injury or death, other problems are substandard intervention and education by unqualified staff, failure to assess individual needs, denial of access by parents to their children, and misrepresentation to parents by program operators
  10. 10. The Future of WEPs in the Juvenile Justice System No longer merely alternatives for the worst adjudicated offender or the wealthy troubled teen – some programs offer scholarships to support youth who would otherwise be unable to participate The movement away from adventure and challenge oriented programs toward an OBH model for troubled youth acknowledges the important relationship between mental health and delinquency There is some evidence to show that wilderness programs do not provide the range of services that troubled youth require The research has not conclusively demonstrated that wilderness experience programs successfully reduce delinquency There is optimism that these programs can prevent some at-risk youth from engaging in delinquent behavior and reduce recidivism rates of youth who have been adjudicated delinquent

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