Article

Boot Camps and Shock Incarceration Programs

Ojmarrh Mitchell and Fawn T. Ngo

in Criminology

ISBN: 9780195396607
Published online March 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396607-0068
Boot Camps and Shock Incarceration Programs

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Correctional boot camps, also known as “shock incarceration” programs, are correctional programs modeled after military basic training. Just like basic training, boot camps emphasize drill and ceremony—and physical activity. Generally, boot camps target young, nonviolent offenders with limited criminal history. Boot camps are largely short-term programs lasting 90 to 180 days. Inmates who successfully complete these programs are released under supervision back to the community; however, inmates who drop out or are dismissed from boot camps are often required to serve longer terms of incarceration in traditional correctional facilities. Typically, inmates involved in boot camps are required to wake up before dawn, dress quickly, gather, and march to an exercise yard, where they perform calisthenics, complete long runs, take on obstacle/challenge courses, and engage in manual labor. Inmates march to their dining facilities, where they typically eat quickly and with minimal conversation before engaging in more military exercises. Boot camps require inmates to adhere to a strict code of conduct at all times. Deviations from these rules are met with reprimands or punishments involving physical exercises (e.g., push-ups) or the removal of privileges. Outside of this quasi-military orientation, boot camps vary greatly. Some programs have little to no time allotted for treatment activities, while others devote considerable portions of the day to these activities. Some programs require offenders to volunteer for the programs; others allow judges or corrections officials to mandate boot camp participation. Another important variation is in the manner and intensity of postrelease community supervision; some programs offer offenders limited community supervision, while other programs offer intensive supervision. This bibliography lists research describing boot camps and their philosophy and goals. It also details research that evaluates inmate adjustment to the boot camp environment and the effects of boot camp participation on various outcomes. Taken together, the studies listed here describe the rise, fall, and evolution of correctional boot camp programs.

Article.  7304 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Criminal Justice ; Criminology

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