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Boot Camp Drug Treatment and Aftercare Interventions: An Evaluation Review, Research in Brief

NCJ Number
Date Published
15 pages
Publication Series
Based on empirical data from survey responses, site visits, and interviews, this study assesses adult boot camp programming, particularly those components that deal with substance abuse treatment and aftercare.
The study found that the substance abuse education/treatment programs actually implemented in boot camp facilities are not likely to rehabilitate boot camp participants. Based on evaluation findings, this report provides guidelines for an effective boot camp treatment regime. Effective programs should include substance abuse education and treatment programs that involve psychotherapeutic interventions, such as individual and small group therapies, with a focus on multimodal approaches that are relevant to the offender population. Treatment programs should arise from comprehensive planning processes that are sensitive to the unique environment and offender population of the facility and include input from substance abuse treatment professionals. It should also use standardized assessment processes to place inmates in individualized treatment programs. Boot camp programs should employ or contract with well-trained, qualified substance-abuse treatment providers to operate facility programs and ensure that the ratio of inmates assigned to each of these professionals is sufficiently low to permit individualized approaches. A therapeutic community model should be adopted; it should involve frequent staff-inmate interactions, the use of peer pressure to reinforce positive behavior, and a reduction in the punitive aspects of boot camp experience. Prerelease and postrelease programming must ensure a continuity of care throughout the institutional and aftercare phases of the program. 7 exhibits, 7 notes, and a listing of 28 selected recent National Institute of Justice publications and products

Date Published: January 1, 1995