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boot camp incarceration

With the ever rising prison population in this country, something has to be done rehabilitate criminals rather than just lock them up. Many feel that the new prisons, boot camps are the answer (Champion 1990). I will give a brief overview of boot camp institutions, specifically, about the operation and structure of these, the cost involved with both juvenile and adult facilities, and how effective they really are with regard to recidivism. Boot camps or shock incarceration programs, as they are also called, vary greatly around the country. At the start of 1997, 54 adult boot camp facilities operated in 34 states and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, with a total of 7,250 inmates. Most include physical training, hard labor, military drills and ceremonies, and summary punishment (immediate punishments like pushups for disciplinary infractions). Many feel that the rigid discipline of a boot camp promotes positive behavior (Mackenzie and Hebert).Boot camp programs have the potential to reduce institutional crowding and costs, provided they are large enough. This assumes they target offenders who would otherwise have served a longer sentence in another institution, and keep enough participants from returning to correctional facilities. Some boot camps offer rehabilitative programs such as drug and alcohol treatment, life skills training, vocational education, therapy, and general education classes. Some also provide intensive community supervision after release. For example, New Yorks "shock incarceration" takes a therapeutic approach with six months of intensive incarceration in a military style boot camp that also focuses on treatment and developing life skills. Six months of intensive community supervision follows graduation. New York, which operates four facilities with a capacity of over 3,000 inmates per year, has the largest boot camp program for sentenced felony offenders in the country. This program will be used to illustrate b...

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