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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 154815 Find in a Library
Title: Shock Corrections
Corporate Author: Mansfield University
Criminal Justice Program
United States of America
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 0
Sponsoring Agency: Mansfield University
Mansfield, PA 16933
Sale Source: Mansfield University
Criminal Justice Program
Mansfield, PA 16933
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This video portrays a formal debate on the merits of shock incarceration (boot camps) by two two-person teams of criminal justice students from Mansfield University (Pennsylvania).
Abstract: The format for the debate consists of a statement of position and supporting arguments from each member of the teams, followed by cross-examination, rebuttal, summation, and a commentary by the moderator/teacher. The team that argues for the use of shock incarceration first describes the regime of militaristic discipline and then the rehabilitative programs of education, vocational training, and treatment. The "pro" team describes its visit to the shock incarceration program in Monterey, N.Y., and their favorable impressions of it. The benefits of shock incarceration emphasized are its use as an alternative to overcrowded prisons, its regimented structure that encourages self-discipline and constructive behaviors, mandatory participation in remedial and rehabilitative programs, and its lower cost compared to traditional incarceration. The "pro team quotes research that found a favorable recidivism rate for shock incarceration participants compared to those released from traditional prisons. The team opposed to shock incarceration focuses on the debilitating effects of its militaristic regime. Such a regime is portrayed as abusive to the extent of constituting "cruel and inhuman punishment." The intimidating and punitive militarism of shock incarceration is believed by the "con" team to foster aggression, repressed hostility, and low self-esteem in participants. "Con" team members note that shock incarceration is particularly psychologically injurious for those who may be physically or psychologically handicapped, since their inability to comply with program demands increases their punitive treatment and further lowers their self-esteem. The "con" team quotes research that shows the ineffectiveness of shock incarceration. The closing commentary by the moderator/professor notes both the potential benefits and abuses of a militaristic regime and recommends further research into the impact of authoritarian regimes on psychological states and behaviors.
Main Term(s): Corrections effectiveness
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Cost/Benefit Analysis; Shock incarceration programs
Note: Color VHS video, 60 minutes
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