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NCJ Number: 148324 Find in a Library
Title: Boot Camps: A Critique and a Proposed Alternative
Journal: Journal of Offender Rehabilitation  Volume:20  Issue:3-4  Dated:(1994)  Pages:147-158
Author(s): A W Salerno
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 12
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of shock incarceration programs concludes that, as currently structured, these programs should be phased out immediately because they are doomed to fail and can be very costly.
Abstract: The paper explores the origins of the shock incarceration concept and the application of its principles to juvenile delinquents in the form of Outward Bound programs, offers an eight-point critique of the concept itself, and offers an alternative that is potentially as effective but much less costly than boot camps. Shock incarceration programs rest on the view that short-term, intensive programs of hard work, military drill, and treatment will result in reduced recidivism. However, the convicted felons who are candidates for shock incarceration have long been rejected for military service, probably due to offenders' character disorder and problems with authority. In addition, offenders do really volunteer for these programs, because the choice involves a tradeoff between long and short incarceration periods. Moreover, many offenders have already experienced incarceration in the form of pretrial detention. Furthermore, the British experience reveals that these programs do not reduce recidivism. Costs, the nature of the treatment, and the effects of the training provided are among other issues requiring consideration. The analysis concludes that a less costly and potentially equally effective approach would be a combination of intermittent incarceration supplemented by intensive probation supervision, with intermittent incarceration lasting for at least 6 months and consisting of a basic camp for 1 week followed by weekends gradually spaced further apart as time progresses. Note and 14 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Corrections effectiveness
Index Term(s): Correctional reform; Shock incarceration programs
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