Turning a Felon's Life Around (03:00)
After being arrested eight times before he turned sixteen, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson transformed his life through hard work and discipline. Instead of serving long prison sentences, young felons can attend Miami-Dade County Boot Camp, which has a high rate of rehabilitation. Johnson addresses the new cadets of the program. (Credits)
Cycles of Incarceration (03:16)
Approximately 75% of young felons re-offend. If successfully completed, the Miami-Dade County Boot Camp is a sixteen-week program that allows inmates to avoid lengthy prison sentences and earn their freedom. See participants arrive for the first day.
Cadet James Dukes (03:10)
James Dukes was convicted of five counts of burglary, which carries a maximum sentence of 60 years. Corporal Frederick Hodge explains that prison and boot camp are not that different. As the first day progresses, participants must remain quiet during meal times, clean up after themselves, and perform arduous physical activity.
Boot Camp: End of Day One (02:22)
Drill Instructors demand military discipline. After 16 hours of exercise, the cadets fall asleep. The instructors are surprised and pleased that no members of the unit have failed out yet.
Boot Camp: Day Two (03:10)
Drill instructors use verbal confrontation, physical exhaustion, and the fear of prison to break down the felon's resistance. The cadets wake up at 4 am, perform physical training exercises, and recite their jail number at headcount.
Isolating Undermining Behavior (03:03)
Kevin Chew refuses to take the program seriously and drill instructors remove him. After allowing Chew to express his frustration, an officer locks him in a holding cell until he will follow protocol.
Felons Choose to Attend Boot Camp (02:51)
After Chew is locked up for the third time, Commander Rose Green confronts him about his behavior. Drill instructors remove cadets who repeatedly fail to follow the boot camp's philosophy. Chew returns to prison and now faces his original sentence of fifteen years in prison.
Boot Camp: Week Two (03:05)
Counselors meet individually with members of the platoon. Timothy Williams, charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, has been kicked out of boot camp twice. Marquita Gilliard tries to convince Williams to take the program seriously.
Anger Management Classes (05:10)
A facilitator teaches cadets warning signs that they are growing angry. Drill instructors push the platoon to maintain control in the face of adversity. Kevan Wimbley throws his footlocker in retaliation and becomes the third cadet kicked out of boot camp.
Meeting of the Instructors (02:17)
Natasha Reese expresses concern about two cadets who do not speak English. Officer Lopez pulls the duo aside, explains how they need to work harder than the other members of the platoon, reminds them of how their mothers feel, and offers to help them understand the language.
Boot Camp: Week Four (03:54)
Drill instructors start praising cadets for their hard work and encouraging them to pursue their dreams. The boot camp starts vocational training, GED classes, and substance abuse counseling.
Encouragement and Contact with Home (02:49)
Manuel Guzman dragged a person 25 feet with a car. An instructor tests Guzman on rules of conduct and military protocol; he proves adept. At mail call, cadets receive encouragement from loved ones.
Boot Camp: Week Seven (04:35)
Avery Plemons, whose sentence carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, performs his first protocol test. After eight weeks, cadets earn a phone call home to their families. After Plemons speaks to his family, he vows to do whatever it takes to graduate the program.
Not All Succeed (02:43)
Manuel Cordero fails his first protocol test because he does not speak English. Officer Lopez comforts Cordero when he begins to sob.
"Recycled" Member (02:24)
Williams meets with a counselor, expresses gratitude that boot camp allowed him to return, and earns a phone call home. Afterward, the cadet prays that he graduates the program.
Breaking the Rules (02:42)
Officer Lopez finds stolen cookies under Dukes' mattress and punishes him through physical activity.
Incorporating the Family (02:48)
Joseph Johnson visits Dukes' family and tries to involve them with his rehabilitation. Dukes' dropped out of school in the eighth grade and started getting into trouble.
Graduation Countdown (03:37)
Dukes earns his first phone call home; he calls his mother "ma'am." The instructor reprimands Dukes for his vocabulary and inspires the cadet to strive to improve himself.
Graduation Countdown: Seven Weeks (02:38)
A drill instructor comments on how Dukes turned his life around. Trusted cadets earn the privilege to work in the community; Dukes, Guzman, and Plemons pick up litter on the side of the road.
Graduation Countdown: Six Weeks (03:39)
Dukes and Guzman escape during their work detail. A drill instructor addresses the cadets and grants them time to discuss the situation. Green speaks to the other instructors about the incident.
County Jail (04:19)
Dukes apologizes to Officer Lopez for escaping. He and Guzman receive additional time in prison. Green addresses the platoon and inspires the cadets to work harder and improve themselves.
Graduation Countdown: One Week (02:54)
A drill instructor compliments a cadet on his shoeshine techniques. At the last fitness test, an officer praises Plemons' improvement. The platoon takes the last run together.
Boot Camp Graduation Day (03:16)
Families arrive to watch the graduation ceremony. The instructors allow the cadets a minute to visit with their families before marching out of the proceedings.
Courtroom Reception (04:35)
Cadets receive their belongings and dress for the courtroom reception. Rose Green and Duane Johnson give speeches. Members of the class find jobs and become contributing members of society.
Credits: Rock and a Hard Place (02:49)
Credits: Rock and a Hard Place
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