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Boot Camp Planning Grants: An Analysis of Correctional Program Planning, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
88 pages
In 1995 the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs awarded 25 boot camp planning grants as part of the Corrections Boot Camp Initiative; this report summarizes the findings of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency's process evaluation of this effort.
The grants were awarded for the development, construction, and expansion of adult and juvenile correctional boot camp facilities for nonviolent offenders, with the intention of freeing conventional prison, jail, and juvenile corrections institutional space for the confinement of violent offenders. The funding included grants for organizations interested in developing or expanding a boot camp program to engage in the planning and development necessary to implement a successful program. Planning funds could be used to sponsor statewide meetings, workshops, and focus groups; to employ planners and develop innovative program strategies; and to promote informed decision making and program improvements. The national process evaluation for the 25 sites involved program documentation to develop descriptions of the progress made by grant recipients. The analysis also involved the in-depth study of more advanced program plans. Included in the evaluation were adult and juvenile boot camp planning initiatives that served both males and females and had a wide range of program characteristics and components. The evaluation research also documented the development of planning partnerships to solve problems related to both general and site-specific boot camp program planning initiatives. In addition, the evaluation focused on the future of correctional boot camps in the context of their emergence, expansion, and evolution. The evaluation findings show that although there was wide variance across planned programs and settings, correctional boot camp planning activities consistently contributed to the development of viable alternatives to long-term incarceration; however, specific conditions must be met for successful boot camp planning to occur. These prerequisite conditions involve gaining consensus and establishing partnerships among boot camp planners and constituents. These planning alliances have the potential to increase corrections options while addressing community concerns about public safety. The findings also include descriptions of various boot camp planning processes and resulting program plans. Planning experiences were documented and program characteristics compared across sites. The findings revealed the need for continued corrections planning and the protracted use of research in the development and implementation of creative alternatives to long-term incarceration. The study concluded that the correctional boot camp planning experience is a process that must be modified over time to solve complex problems and improve existing program plans. Important lessons learned during the boot camp planning process and imperative policy recommendations for future boot camp initiatives are also presented in this report. 20 tables

Date Published: January 1, 2000