FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 29, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath from Michigan City today issued the following statement upon receiving word that Gov. Mike Pence and the state Department of Corrections (DOC) intend to close the Camp Summit boot camp in LaPorte County:
“It has come to our attention that the governor and his administration will announce in the next few days their intentions to close Camp Summit for budgetary reasons. In other words, they want to eliminate 70 LaPorte County jobs in the service of their increasingly bloated budget surplus.
“If they follow through on this threat, it marks the latest indication that people and jobs don't matter as much as politically crafted financial statements.
“This decision would be particularly crazy because the state is shuttering a program that has a demonstrated impact in turning around the lives of troubled youths. At any time at Camp Summit, close to 100 youths across Indiana have the chance to resume their education, receive counseling, and gain the skills that will enable them to return to society and care for themselves and others.
“But that apparently means nothing to an administration that has no problems with shuttling those youths to other locations around the state, and telling the dedicated staff at Camp Summit that they can either uproot their families or find other jobs. It also will wreak havoc on federal guidelines covering staffing at correctional facilities, leading to less rehabilitation and more wayward lives.
“They only care about one thing: $2 billion in the bank. The havoc they wreak on schools, kids, and our health to get to that figure seemingly means little to them.”
Camp Summit, established in 1995, is Indiana’s only para-military style boot camp. The five-and-a-half month program is designed for juvenile males (average age 16.7 years) from throughout Indiana who have been adjudicated delinquent by Indiana juvenile courts. The medium-security facility has a fully accredited high school and a GED program for some students who are 16 years of age or older. Programs include individual, group and family counseling, as well as substance abuse counseling and classes in parenting and anger management.