skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 134757 Find in a Library
Title: Boot Camp Program for Offenders: Does the Shoe Fit?
Journal: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology  Volume:35  Issue:4  Dated:(Winter 1991)  Pages:322-327
Author(s): R E S Mathlas; J W Mathews
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 6
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The current assumption that boot camp is the most effective measure for the modification of the behavior of drug abusing offenders tends to minimize the complexity of social problems and interplay of individual and environmental factors. Boot camps typically use military-style techniques to inculcate discipline and obedience in residents. The methods used to affect changes in residents are highly varied, however; they depend on the philosophy of the current correctional administration as well as the expertise and training of the staff. Boot camp programs show some success in diverting the young, nonviolent first offender from the heterogeneous population of medium-security or maximum-security prisons. On the other hand, they may enlarge the net for young first offenders who previously were considered good candidates for probation supervision (a less costly method than boot camp). Given the authoritarian, intimidating thrust of the boot camp strategy, it tends to promote the "machismo" role model for male behavior. This may involve shouting at, belittling, cursing, and denigrating the residents. This not only assaults the already meager self-esteem of the residents, but also presents a model for similar abuse in attempting to bolster self-esteem in interaction with others. It is unlikely that the behavioral modification attempted at boot camp, even if successful, will be reinforced upon return to the peer environment from which offenders usually come. 7 references
Main Term(s): Shock incarceration programs
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Drug treatment programs; Intermediate sanctions
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.