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Results of a Multisite Study of Boot Camp Prisons

NCJ Number
Federal Probation Volume: 58 Issue: 2 Dated: (June 1994) Pages: 60-66
Date Published
7 pages
A survey of State correctional systems conducted in 1990 to determine the number and type of boot camp prisons operating in the United States found that only 14 States had boot camp programs.
Eight of the 14 States agreed to participate in a study of boot camp effectiveness (Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas). The study evaluated boot camp program implementation and development, attitude changes of program participants, recidivism and positive adjustment of offenders during community supervision, and program impact on prison crowding. The eight programs had fairly rigid eligibility criteria, and most targeted young offenders who had been convicted of nonviolent crimes. Eligibility criteria also further restricted participation to offenders who did not have serious criminal histories. In general, boot camp participants indicated programs were more stressful than they anticipated, while correctional officers were very enthusiastic about the programs. The boot camp atmosphere had a positive impact on offenders but it could not be concluded that boot camps definitively affected the recidivism of program graduates. The author concludes that boot camps can be designed to reduce prison crowding and that boot camps may be effective in combination with rehabilitation programs, intensive supervision, and enhanced aftercare. 13 references, 5 notes, and 1 figure

Date Published: January 1, 1994