Boot Camp Operator Found Guilty of Manslaughter

by TChris

Boot camps for unruly juveniles have been popular with the "harsh treatment builds character" crowd, but the story of Anthony Haynes reveals the potential for abuse that inheres in the "tough love" philosophy.

Anthony Haynes was a troubled overweight youth, and his mother sought out Long's program because she said she was desperate to find ways to cope with the child. While sitting in a disciplinary line in the July heat, Haynes began acting erratically, eating dirt and possibly hallucinating.

A counselor and several youths took him to a hotel and placed him, unconscious, in a shower bath, where he inhaled water. Then, rather than call for medical help, they took him back to the camp, where he died despite attempts to resuscitate him.

Charles Long, who operated the Arizona camp, was convicted Monday of reckless manslaughter in the 14-year-old boy's death. He had been charged with the more serious offense of second degree murder.

Long also was found guilty of aggravated assault for threatening another youth with a knife. ... Long held a knife to the chest of a camper named Nicholas Conner and threatened to "gut him like a fish."

The jury deadlocked on eight counts of child abuse related to other campers who were reportedly forced to sit in the sun without adequate water as discipline.

Jurors made clear their displeasure with the testimony that Long's wife gave in support of her husband. Proposed cross-examination questions that jurors submitted to the judge included whether Long's wife "realized how foolish she looked in contradicting other testimony and how she would like it if someone forcibly shaved her head, as was done to problem cadets in Long's programs."

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    Re: Boot Camp Operator Found Guilty of Manslaughte (none / 0) (#1)
    by Johnny on Tue Jan 04, 2005 at 12:41:38 PM EST
    Well, he was rehabilitated. Pre-emptive death penalty for troubled youths?

    Re: Boot Camp Operator Found Guilty of Manslaughte (none / 0) (#2)
    by Che's Lounge on Tue Jan 04, 2005 at 12:44:37 PM EST
    Tough love is about as effective as a screen door on a submarine.

    Re: Boot Camp Operator Found Guilty of Manslaughte (none / 0) (#3)
    by Darryl Pearce on Tue Jan 04, 2005 at 12:50:40 PM EST
    The cowboy code by David Kelly requires us not to be unduly rough.

    Re: Boot Camp Operator Found Guilty of Manslaughte (none / 0) (#4)
    by wishful on Tue Jan 04, 2005 at 01:31:45 PM EST
    What the heck is the cabinet position in charge of child welfare? I'm sure it won't be long now before Bush nominates Charles Long to this post.

    There's a very good West Coast shelter mag, Sunset, geared to the affluent house-proud sector. It has the biggest assortment of ads for these camps (plus schools for "troubled" kids, etc.) you ever saw. This puzzled me until I realized that a lot of these kids probably get sent away because basically, they just didn't go with the parents' lifestyle, in the same sense that a certain rug might not go with the curtains. Mind, these aren't drying-out places for kids with real substance-abuse issues or similar programs for specific problems. They're just places where they can be abused, fueled by that right-wing belief that if you just dump on a child enough, he will magically develop "character." (What can't you justify with that?) Do you think kids ever come back from these places with better relationships with their folks than they left with?

    If parents treated their children anything resembling what these people do to kids they would be taken away from them. Why is abuse condoned in these situations and why does a child have to die before anyone is held accountable? Boot camp is for training military personnel for war not as a brainwashing tool and torture technique for the criminal justice system.

    Re: Boot Camp Operator Found Guilty of Manslaughte (none / 0) (#8)
    by wishful on Tue Jan 04, 2005 at 08:22:06 PM EST
    OMFG, I just saw an ad for a new reality teevee show: BratCamp, a boot camp for bratty teens. What a sick, sick society, and not because of desperate housewives or wardrobe malfunctions.

    How many times have a hear this story? after all most of the guys running the so called boot camps are in fact gang memebers.

    Re: Boot Camp Operator Found Guilty of Manslaughte (none / 0) (#10)
    by cp on Wed Jan 05, 2005 at 05:50:27 AM EST
    like many of our finer institutions, the original concept behind the "bootcamp" style camp was, kind of, noble in intent. the idea was to take hard-core jd's, those who had been through the juvie system, and came out harder still, and instead of sending them back to juvie, put them through a rugged, military-style, training camp, sans weapons. this would require the development of small-unit cohesion, teamwork, self discipline and problem solving skills, in order to successfully complete the program. the idea was that, by accomplishing these goals, these kids would also develop the self-esteem, earned, not given, which would enable them to re-enter society as contributing members. at least, that was the original idea. whether or not it was ever a good idea is another issue for discussion. it has, unfortunately, evolved into something else entirely. again, not unlike some of our other finer institutions.

    My heart goes out to the parents who may have thought they were doing something good and now have to live with the death of their son.

    Re: Boot Camp Operator Found Guilty of Manslaughte (none / 0) (#12)
    by wishful on Wed Jan 05, 2005 at 07:04:50 AM EST
    ca, Agree, this is tragic, and the parents get my sympathy. No one deserves this. Note however the culpability of the LRWM (lying right wing media). As Felix and Fred noted above, this is hardly a new phenomenon. If the LRWM was doing their job, someone within the parents' circle of friends and relatives could have warned them, and furthur information would have been readily available. At least now there is the possibility of people becoming informed about their world through blogs. Decision-making can improve exponentially as a result, and things like this won't happen through enforced ignorance. Thanks Jerilyn, and thanks to your fellow bloggers. BTW, the concept of making an end run around the LRWM is the only thing that is available to potentially save our democracy, thus ourselves.

    Molly: 'They're just places where they can be abused, fueled by that right-wing belief that if you just dump on a child enough, he will magically develop "character."' If this is a "right-wing belief", why is it standard operating procedure in so many countries run by left-wing governments? Could it be that stupidity, cruelty, and arrogance are not in fact based on partisanship after all?

    "Exposes" of these camps are a staple of the evening newsmagazines. The parents are amazing. They see an ad, look at a website, and then put their kid on a plane to Costa Rica the next day. Not doing any research on the place or the people running it, not talking to parents of kids who have been through the program, and spending tens of thousands of dollars that they clearly don't have to spare. Back in the 80s, mental hospitalization for teens was all the rage. It was basically an insurance scam. Parents said they couldn't handle their kids, the kids got locked up for six months a year, the insurance companies paid through the nose. So teens who were late for curfew got thrown in with young people in need of serious mental health help (which they weren't getting, because it was an insurance scam), and the parents got to wail to their friends about my "sick kid." And the mental health label meant that they were totally off the hook for bad parenting. I had a friend who worked for one of those places (briefly). He said that what amazed him was that most of the kids were fairly healthy, but the parents were completely messed up. He wanted to see a program that was a summer camp for teens and serious mental health treatment for their parents. I wanted to do a program for borderline f-ed up kids that brought in artists, musicians, goths, etc. to show them that they could get out of the house and live their dream life. They would then get counseling on surviving the next 3-5 years and making action plans that would set them up for a happy adult life. But everybody agreed that parents would never go for it.

    If this is a "right-wing belief", why is it standard operating procedure in so many countries run by left-wing governments? For example?

    Molly, Ever heard of China? Or the Soviet Union? Or maybe Cuba? All of these countries have (or had in the case of the USSR) fully functioning re-education gulags where people were sent and forced into slave labor for the crime of being or thinking differently. Even now people in China, "the worker's paradise", are being subjected to intimidation, beatings, torture, and death for being involved with Falun Gong. In Cuba they've locked up librarians for 25+ years for the crime of providing books to the masses that are not on the approved government reading list. Cuban prisons are not known for their accomodations, and Cuban prison guards are not known for their concern for the rights of inmates. Africa is also replete with current examples of leftwing socialist kelptocracies with a nasty habit of abusing those who disagree with them, up to and including outright murder. If you need any other examples, I recommend the evening international news on any given day. The willingness to subject people to harsh treatment in order to "improve" them is not a partisan issue. Evil resides on both sides of the aisle. Trying to make it a "right-wing belief" simply clouds the real issue, which is the behavior involved, not the politics of those doing it.

    this is a right-wing belief because in this situation the parent owns the child, and in their efforts to maintain the child can in a free and open exchange for monetary value have the child placed in a gulag. the left wing dictatorships would be unlikely to allow you to pay someone to torture your child. actually left wing dictatorships often have a belief that children are the future of the revolution, and thus children have enormous power to get their parents sent away. anyway i suppose you probably knew all that, unless you're so damn stupid you hadn't realized that parents are in fact not a governmental organization, and so all your ranting about government gulags and such didn't make much sense.

    bryan, If you want to see an example of "ranting", I suggest you read your latest post. If you truly belive that children are "owned" by their parents, I suggest you seek professional help;-) You are right though, leftist governments don't normally allow parents to pay to have their children abused, they provide that service free of charge as part of their socialist utopia. I did like the "children are the future" line though. Hadn't thought of Whitney Houston in years. But if Childen are the future of the revolution, why are they so often kept underfed and uneducated in these leftist wonder worlds? Anyway, I suppose your argument boils down to leftwing govenments adopting right-wing beliefs. I suppose that's possible, just, as you would put it, highly unlikely.

    Re: Boot Camp Operator Found Guilty of Manslaughte (none / 0) (#19)
    by Che's Lounge on Wed Jan 05, 2005 at 11:44:34 PM EST
    Justpaul, I am interested in informationa about Cuban gulags, abusive Cuban prisons and the info about the librarians. Would you please post some links to your sources? Thanks

    Che, Try reading CNN from time to time. Or the New York Times. Or even the Washington Post. The librarian story has been in all of them within the last year. As for Cuban prisons: Please. I'm not interested in the "if you won't provide a specific link it didn't happen" argument to stories that have been appearing in the mainstream press for years. And I'm not interested in getting into a pissing match over this because I questioned how the belief that one can be abused into having a good character is a "right-wing" belief when so many left-wing governments follow similar approaches to their own detractors. If you are truly interested in this subject, try using Google and doing a little research on your own. If you're just looking for yet another argument to clutter up TL's Comments section with, go find someone else to pick your fight with.

    People need to think about what today's society has taught our children. They can do anything without consequence because everything is "abuse". My heart goes out to the mother who lost her son. Parents look to these "camps" because they are desperate. I am a single mother with a 13 year old son who thinks he runs our house. He's a fairly good kid, no drugs yet, but he argues EVERTHING. If he doesn't want to do something, he won't. I have to fight him to take a shower. He refuses to do his chores, and has become so lazy that his straight A's have gone to F's, mostly due to assignments not handed in. I worry that he will continue this in adult life. Expecting everything to be handed to him, no respect for authority, unwillingness to take responsibility. Taking away sports, video games, going to see his friends - nothing has seemed to matter to him. I have taken 2 parenting classes, read whatever parenting articles I get my hands on, and we have been in counseling until they told us that there is no further we can take it. Nothing has helped. I also have 2 girls, ages 5 & 7. My son is physically harmful to them and I am afraid for them. He is now about my size and I fear what will come when he is bigger. My next step is to put him in the hands of the State. No parent wants to give up on his or her child. These camps are a light, like some prayer to be answered. Hope. If you have ever lived with a very rebellious teen - you will know why parents look to these people and their camps as saviors. It is a last hope to save our child.

    i thnk it's really hard for the children and teens...they are treated like animals...where are the human rights???

    troubled teen boot camps (none / 0) (#23)
    by troubled teens on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 01:44:32 AM EST
    These type of teens boot camps definitely bring more knowledge with new skills during the camp. Generally boot camps are meant to teach them a systematic way of learning, living and helping others. There are specific boot camps that can be helpful to improve teens disorders, concentration, class activities etc, any of the type of boot camps make teens feel good and learn more knowledge.