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Boot Camps: An Intermediate Sanction

NCJ Number
Date Published
175 pages

Boot camps, designed as a correctional innovation for juveniles, has been positively received by both the public and policy-makers.


Boot camps represent one of the most appealing intermediate sanctions created since the alternative to the prison movement began in the 1980's. Boot camps receive extensive media coverage and have sufficient funding in many jurisdictions. Because research has been conducted on various aspects of boot camps, the authors attempt to summarize the major research findings. They address whether boot camps work as an intermediate sanction, generate more harm than good, prevent offenders from re-entering the criminal justice system, and produce cost-effective results. The authors conclude that shock incarceration is a viable alternative to traditional incarceration that seeks to reduce strained prison budgets and prison overcrowding, reserve prison bed space for hardened criminals, and offer boot camp participants a chance for rehabilitation. They indicate that boot camp programs are cost-effective and give participants better life chances. Criticisms of boot camp approaches are noted, and a glossary is included. References and tables

Date Published: January 1, 1999