Boot Camp Guards Charged With Teen’s Killing

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Eleven months ago, seven guards at a Florida teen-offender “boot camp” were caught on tape kicking and stomping a 14-year-old inmate – who died the next day. The incident led Governor Jeb Bush to dismantle the state’s military-style camps for young offenders, cost a top law enforcement officer his job, and have now culminated in manslaughter charges against the guards.

All of which marks the latest and perhaps most serious blow to the once-popular idea of reforming troubled teens in such places. It’s an issue Mother Jones highligted several years ago in a piece about the death of another teen in a different boot camp.

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In "It's Not a Crisis. This Is the New Normal," we explain, as matter-of-factly as we can, what exactly our finances look like, how brutal it is to sustain quality journalism right now, what makes Mother Jones different than most of the news out there, and why support from readers is the only thing that keeps us going. Despite the challenges, we're optimistic we can increase the share of online readers who decide to donate—starting with hitting an ambitious $300,000 goal in just three weeks to make sure we can finish our fiscal year break-even in the coming months.

Please learn more about how Mother Jones works and our 47-year history of doing nonprofit journalism that you don't elsewhere—and help us do it with a donation if you can. We've already cut expenses and hitting our online goal is critical right now.

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