“Tough love” boot camps are “ineffective, based on pseudoscience, and rooted in a brutal ideology that produces more harm than most of the problems they are supposedly aimed at addressing,” writes Maia Szalavitz in Reason. Tough love also is lucrative.
Several hundred programs, both public and private, use the approach. Somewhere between 10,000 and 100,000 teenagers are currently held in treatment programs based on the belief that adolescents must be broken (mentally, and often physically as well) before they can be fixed.
To avoid U.S. laws, programs are moving overseas where controls are weaker.