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Delaware's Adult Boot Camp, May 2001

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2001
35 pages
After describing the purpose and components of Delaware's adult boot camp, this report presents the findings of an evaluation of the camp.

The boot camp, which opened in April 1997, is located within the Sussex Correctional Institution near Georgetown. Through intensive supervision, counseling, and mentorship, the goal of the Delaware adult boot camp is to release the prisoner with the skills required to be a constructive citizen. It provides a 6-month program with intense, military type discipline through a highly regimented routine of physical exercise, basic education, life and work skills development, and substance abuse treatment. Following graduation, the successful cadets are provided intensive community supervision and services. The 255 graduates included in this update were from the first 12 platoons and had been out of boot camp for at least 18 months. As the boot camp has matured, the graduation rate has increased. The 1999 report noted that 57 percent of the cadets graduated from the first four platoons. The graduation rate for the first 12 platoons increased to 74 percent. Delaware's boot camp cadets tend to be older and more serious offenders. Ninety-eight percent of the cadets had prior felony arrest histories. Recidivism findings showed that 18 months after leaving boot camp, graduates had only a 25-percent felony rearrest rate; however, the re-incarceration rate at 18 months after graduation ranged between 33 and 49.5 percent. Boot camp graduates were thus no more or less likely to end up back in jail or prison than the regular releasees from Level V incarceration. Although the total rearrest and re-incarceration rates for boot camp graduates did not show a cessation of criminal behavior, this finding must be considered in the context of the extensive criminal history of the average boot camp cadet. Further, felony crime has been reduced for graduates, and when the graduate falls back into crime, albeit less serious crime, he is likely to be incarcerated. A 10-item bibliography and extensive tables and figures

Date Published: May 1, 2001