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Boot Camps for Juvenile Offenders: An Implementation Evaluation of Three Demonstration Programs

NCJ Number
Date Published
122 pages
Publication Series
This study evaluates the implementation and short-term impact of three demonstration juvenile boot camp programs initiated by the Federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

The core of the assessment was a management information system that collected administrative data as offenders progressed through the demonstration program. Researchers also made an average of five site visits to each of the three programs, in which they spoke with participants and interviewed program staff and representatives of the agencies that constituted each program. One chapter of this evaluation report describes the basic program design and provides an overview of each program. Another chapter presents each site's selection process, i.e., the procedures each program used to select candidates for participation in the program; the characteristics of program participants; and the characteristics of those who failed to complete the program. Detailed descriptions of the programs' boot camp phase are presented in one chapter, followed by a chapter on the aftercare programs of the three sties. Another chapter analyzes observable changes in boot camp participants during the program period and the program completion and attrition rates. The evaluation concludes that the programs were successful in implementing their various phases and that short-term effects were achieved in educational improvement and positive changes in attitudes and behavior. The aftercare period, however, did not sustain the improvements observed during the program. The report recommends that boot camp programs clarify the cause-and-effect rationales they are using to explain expectations for changing participant behavior. Further boot camp programs should define and select target populations in the context of goals for rehabilitation, recidivism, cost containment, punishment, and other significant areas. Because aftercare was the period during which most attrition occurred, this phase of the program needs to be improved and perhaps restructured. Extensive tables and a 26- item bibliography

Date Published: January 1, 1996