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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 119859 Find in a Library
Title: Prison "Boot Camps" Do Not Measure Up
Journal: Federal Probation  Volume:53  Issue:3  Dated:(September 1989)  Pages:15-20
Author(s): D K Sechrest
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
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Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
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United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Program/Project Description
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Prison "boot camps," which are also called shock incarceration, are not the best response to the problems of improving offenders' lives and reducing recidivism, and these programs add to the fiction that short-term panaceas can solve significant social problems.
Abstract: At least eight States now have these programs and at least eight more soon will have them. They put convicted offenders through a program of strict discipline and military-style drills, usually for a period of 90 to 120 days. Shock incarceration emphasizes discipline and purports to have the same results as military recruit training with respect to developing positive attitudes toward authority and providing physical conditioning. However, they have not been shown to have advantages over other approaches in terms of costs, outcomes, and other factors. In addition, corrections officials are concerned about the programs because of the potential for abuse. Moreover, most evaluations have shown that gains are often short-term unless followup services are provided. Finally, these programs are often underfunded, sometimes underused or poorly implemented, clearly untested, and mostly incomplete efforts to provide full correctional programs for young offenders. Despite the media hype, no evidence shows that shock incarceration works any more than scared straight or shock probation worked to any great degree. Most experts agree that without the help of the family and without addressing underlying social problems, the effects of shock incarceration are unlikely to last. Footnotes.
Main Term(s): Corrections effectiveness
Index Term(s): Correctional reform; Inmate discipline
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