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NCJ Number: 149400 Find in a Library
Title: Are Boot Camps the Answer?
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:21  Issue:6  Dated:(June 1994)  Pages:34-36,38-39,68-69
Author(s): K W Strandberg
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 7
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Boot camps are a major trend in corrections due to public perception of their disciplined regime, the stated emphasis on programming, and the expected success of the program.
Abstract: The boot camp model varies from State to State and institution to institution, but there are similar characteristics: military-style structure; for first and second time, nonviolent offenders; voluntary (incentive is shorter time than incarceration); careful screening prior to acceptance; and some element of aftercare. The public generally approves of boot camps because the very name implies disciplined behavior, obedience to authority, and a punitive approach to behavioral correction. Interviews with those who manage boot camps, however, advise that the crucial elements of the boot camp experience are education, vocational training, counseling, and job placement. The military regime is believed by many corrections managers to be effective only if it builds self-esteem and a sense of achievement among participants. Some critics of boot camps note their potential for the abusive treatment of participants, such that they are demeaned and their self- esteem is lowered even further. Most of those interviewed believe boot camps' effectiveness depends on the particular staff who operate it. If program and staff are committed to positive change and achievement by participants, boot camp can be effective in altering offender lifestyles and behavior. Many programs have an aftercare provision that involves comprehensive supervision. Those who do not comply with the aftercare program may be sent to prison. The article includes a description of Florida's juvenile boot camps.
Main Term(s): Corrections effectiveness
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; First time offenders; Shock incarceration programs
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