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Evaluation of Shock Incarceration in Louisiana

NCJ Number
Date Published
7 pages
The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections activated a two-phase shock incarceration program, the Intensive Motivational Program of Alternative Correctional Treatment (IMPACT) in 1987. A 1991 National Institute of Justice evaluation of IMPACT consisted of three components which examined program implementation, changes in inmate behavior and attitudes as a result of participation in IMPACT, and system-level changes. Data set archived by the NIJ Data Resources Program at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data, located at URL http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/nacjd.
Using data analysis, interviews, and detailed direct observation, the process evaluation studied the program's decisionmaking, staffing, location, rehabilitation, and punishment. The evaluation showed that the combination of hard physical labor, boot camp atmosphere, and strict discipline could combine to present a potential for accidents and/or staff abuse of authority, but the correctional staff and administration in Louisiana seemed aware of these dangers. Inmates who completed the IMPACT program reported more positive attitudes toward their prison experience and toward correctional staff and were more optimistic about their futures than other inmates. Upon release, IMPACT participants became involved in more constructive social activities than their counterparts; the effect upon recidivism rates remains unclear. 14 notes

Date Published: January 1, 1993