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

Recovering from the Shocking Reality of Shock Incarceration: What Correctional Administration Can Learn from Boot Camp Failures

NCJ Number
Corrections Management Quarterly Volume: 3 Issue: 4 Dated: Fall 1999 Pages: 43-52
Jeanne B. Stinchcomb Ph.D
Date Published
10 pages
Shock incarceration programs are discussed with respect to their unfavorable evaluation findings and to ways that correctional administrators can apply the findings of the evaluative research to make program improvements.
An array of boot camp evaluation results now flourishes throughout the correctional literature. Boot camps continue to maintain considerable popularity despite these negative findings. The lasting political support and the lack of more inspiring alternatives now challenge correctional administrators to apply these findings to improve the programs. Improvements can be accomplished by more clearly defining goals, maintaining a realistic perspective, selecting appropriate participants, assuring proper implementation, providing post-release follow-up, and obtaining operational insights through process-related evaluation feedback. Ensuring the integrity of program design as it takes shape operationally may be the most crucial element. In addition, post-release follow-up that focuses exclusively on monitoring compliance with probation or parole conditions is unlikely to provide graduates with the reintegrative support that they so desperately need. Program graduates require extended access to the treatment facilities, job training programs, educational opportunities, and personal counseling they received during their brief confinement. These actions can enable administrators to take advantage of what has been learned from previous endeavors and thereby avoid repeating the mistakes of their predecessors. 41 references