U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Impact of Program Completion on Offender Recidivism

NCJ Number
Cynthia A. Kempinen, Ph.D.; Leigh Tinik
Date Published
January 2009
96 pages
The focus of this 2009 report to the Pennsylvania Legislature on the State's Boot Camp is on factors related to successful program completion and factors related to recidivism, including program completion status.
Although graduates of the Boot Camp were less likely than non-graduates to reoffend, this finding was not significant in the multivariate model; however, it did approach significance, suggesting that this issue is worthy of future attention. The strongest predictor of both new arrests and technical violations after leaving the program was the number of prior arrests. In addition, offenders who were younger and had been incarcerated as a juvenile were significantly more likely to be both re-arrested and receive technical violations. Offenders were more likely to be re-arrested, but not more likely to receive a technical violation, if they were non-White, had been unemployed, had difficulty controlling their temper, and came from a less supportive family. Offenders were more likely to receive a technical violation, but not more likely to be re-arrested, if they were male, had a lower education level, had committed a property crime, and recognized that they needed help with a substance abuse problem. A number of the predictive factors for re-offending (e.g., incarceration as a juvenile, poor school performance, and family difficulties) suggest the importance of early intervention when high-risk factors are evident. After participating in Boot Camp, offenders were significantly more likely to report they were less impulsive, better decisionmakers, and more likely to abstain from drugs. Since the inception of the Motivational Boot Camp Program in 1992, another alternative prison program, State Intermediate Punishment, was established in 2005. Since the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing has been tasked with evaluating both of these programs, it is anticipated that future studies will address what type of program works best for what type of offender. Extensive tables