Office of the City Manager

State Lawmakers Urge Bill to Prevent Abuse in Youth Boot Camps

State Lawmakers Urge Bill to Prevent Abuse in Youth Boot Camps

 Senator Liu, Assemblymember Portantino, and Chief Sanchez Urge Enactment of Bill to Prevent Abuse in Youth Boot Camps  

PASADENA, Calif.- State Senator Carol Liu, Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, and Pasadena Chief of Police Phillip Sanchez held a press conference today (July 31, 2002) to promote legislation that will prevent abuse at military-style youth “boot camps.” 

Disturbing videos of a Pasadena boot camp surfaced earlier this year and showed instructors mistreating young people by making them drink water until they vomited and bringing a child to his knees by forcing him to carry a tire around his neck. The graphic videos sparked an investigation by the Pasadena Police Department, which charged the camp director with kidnapping, child abuse, false imprisonment, and sexual assault. Senator Liu and Assemblymember Portantino responded by introducing SB 1089, to ensure proper licensing and regulation of boot camp providers. 

“We discovered that a small number of boot camp-style programs in California are operating without licensing and putting vulnerable kids and their families at risk.” said Liu, D-La Canada Flintridge and Chair of the Senate Human Services Committee.  “Families have entrusted camp staff to provide a healthy, safe and supportive environment. We have seen that, without proper oversight, these kids are put at great risk of abuse and trauma.” 

Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge stated, "It’s vital that when we send our children away from home they are being treated safely and fairly.  I am pleased to join Senator Liu in authoring a bill that brings accountability to this previously unregulated industry.  As a father of two daughters, how could I not want other parents' sons and daughters to be in a safe environment, especially when receiving the tough love of a boot camp?" 

“The Pasadena Police Department fully supports SB 1089, in the protection of our youth.  This legislation will help regulate and provide parents with licensed boot camp choices that will assist them in enriching the lives of their children,” said Chief of Police Phillip L. Sanchez.    

SB 1089 would ensure organizations that provide aggressive military style behavioral treatment services for at-risk youth do not operate unless all components of the program are accredited by an independent accrediting organization approved by the Department of Social Services.  


For Immediate Release: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 

News Media Contacts:  

Senator Liu                      Assemblymember Portantino 

Adam Carter                             Wendy Gordon 

(818) 409-0400                         (626)577-9944                                        

Adam.Carter@sen.ca.gov   Wendy.Gordon@asm.ca.gov  


Posted: 8/1/2012 06:35:00 PM