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Boot Camps' Impact on Confinement Bed Space Requirements, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 1999
69 pages
This study examined the extent to which the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994's boot camp grantees sought and received technical assistance from the Corrections Program Office and the impact of selected correctional boot camps funded under the Act on confinement bed space requirements in their respective correctional systems.
The in-depth study examined one boot camp each in Oregon, Washington, Maryland, and South Dakota. The study attempted to determine what proportion of jurisdictions awarded boot camp grants under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 received technical assistance on problems related to planning, expansion, or construction of their programs; the types of technical assistance; how satisfied they were with the timing, quality, and usefulness of the technical assistance; the extent to which boot camps funded under the Act freed up prison bed space in their respective correctional systems; the most important design and operating choices that affected their impact on prison bed space; and how changes in other variables affected the boot camps' impact on available bed space. The study determined that boot camps' impact on prison bed space applied with equal validity to any prison-based program whose goals included reducing use of confinement. In this regard, the key lessons were: (1) States should analyze offender flow during program planning in order to determine the size of the program required; (2) the program should be used for offenders whose probability of imprisonment is very high; (3) the program should maximize the discount offered to inmates who complete it; (4) Departments of Correction should minimize revocation rates and durations of re-imprisonment for program graduates who commit non-criminal breaches of supervision rules; and (5) even if such programs saved bed space, cost savings were unlikely unless jurisdictions could achieve large marginal cost reductions. Notes, tables, figure, references, appendix

Date Published: August 1, 1999