Maia Szalavitz on the dangers of boot camps by Mitch E. Perry


Governor Jeb Bush said yesterday he does not have the ability to fire Bay County Sheriff W. Frank McKeithen, as the parents of 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson have demanded, "unless there's a compelling case made." But he expressed empathy for the boy's parents, saying their impatience is "very understandable."

Anderson died after being beaten and kneed by Bay County Sheriff's Boot Camp guards in January. Conflicting autopsy reports led Anderson's parents, Gina Jones and Robert Anderson, and black lawmakers to accuse McKeithen of a cover-up in the boy's death.

Bush said that he wants to wait until Hillsborough County State Attorney Mark Ober's investigation is complete, which could take months, before taking "appropriate action." In addition to requesting that McKeithen be fired, the parents of Anderson want charges filed against a number of people involved in his short stay at the Bay County Boot Camp, and once those charges are filed, a change of venue outside of the area.

Since the videotape of the beating death of Anderson was released, the issue of whether Boot Camps or truly effective has been the source of discussion in Florida. One woman who knows a lot about the subject says they should be closed. Maia Szalesitz has written “Help At Any Cost: How the Troubled Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids�.

WMNF spoke to her today, and asked her thoughts on what’s happened in the Martin Lee Anderson case (roll tape#1 o.q.’as some better model�)

That’s reporter Maia Szalavitz, author of the new book, “Help At Any Cost:How the Troubled Teen-Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kid�…..WMNF will run more of this interview with her later this week.

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