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Shock Incarceration and Positive Adjustment During Community Supervision

NCJ Number
Journal of Quantitative Criminology Volume: 11 Issue: 2 Dated: 1995 Pages: 111-142
Date Published
31 pages

This study examined the adjustment of offenders from shock incarceration programs (boot-camp prisons) during community supervision over a 1-year follow-up period in five States.


Data were collected as part of the National Institute of Justice's multisite study of shock incarceration. The programs were selected to represent various program characteristics and varying program eligibility/suitability criteria. The participating States were Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, New York, and South Carolina. Military drill and physical exercise are core components of all shock incarceration programs. Counseling, treatment, and educational activities are important components of some programs and are virtually nonexistent in others. At the time of data collection, the programs in Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida devoted little time to treatment, counseling, and educational activities. In Louisiana and New York, officials reported allocating a larger proportion of time to these therapeutic activities. Data were collected from two sources. Demographic information, current offense characteristics, and prior criminal history variables were available from offenders' official records. An instrument was also used for compiling supervision intensity and positive adjustment information during community supervision. These data were collected from offenders' supervising officers at predetermined intervals over a 1-year follow-up period. A sample of male shock program completers was selected within each of the five States. Each State also selected at least two offender samples from other correctional programs for comparison purposes. An index was used to quantify the positive activities of offenders. The results provide little conclusive evidence that the shock incarceration programs had a positive effect on offender behavior. The data do suggest that supervision intensity plays an important role in shaping offenders' activities during community supervision. 8 tables, 3 figures, and 30 references

Date Published: January 1, 1995