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In Search of Hopeful Glimpses: A Critique of Research Strategies in Current Boot Camp Evaluations

NCJ Number
Crime & Delinquency Volume: 44 Issue: 2 Dated: (April 1998) Pages: 314-334
Date Published
21 pages

This article presents a comprehensive review of research strategies in recently published boot camp evaluations, highlights areas needing change, and suggests alternatives for future research.


In particular, this article calls for wider use of self-report data and sample matching techniques to augment current measures of program effectiveness. It also emphasizes the inclusion of measures concerning offenders' community reintegration and the involvement of their social networks during and after treatment. Further, the article suggests that future studies also examine how nonprogrammatic factors (i.e., staff commitment, staff/client interactions, and community setting) may affect the outcomes and proposes an integrated evaluation paradigm. The article does not claim that boot camp outcomes will drastically change with the implementation of alternative strategies. Instead, it calls attention to aspects and strategies that have largely been neglected in boot camp research and claims that informed conclusions about the effectiveness of boot camp programs should only be made by taking a more holistic approach in evaluation research designs. Table, notes, references

Date Published: January 1, 1998