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Shock Incarceration and Positive Adjustment During Community Supervision

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1995
32 pages
This study examined the adjustment of offenders from shock incarceration programs (boot-camp prisons) during community supervision over a 1-year follow-up period in five States.
Data for this study were collected as part of the National Institute of Justice's multisite study of shock incarceration (MacKenzie, 1990). Shock programs participating in the study were selected to represent various program characteristics and varying program eligibility/suitability criteria. Military drill and physical exercise are core components of all shock incarceration programs. Counseling, treatment, and educational activities are important components of some programs, but are virtually nonexistent in others. The States in this study reflect considerable variability in the prevalence of "rehabilitative/treatment" activities. Data were collected from two sources; demographic information, current offense characteristics, and prior criminal history variables were available from offenders' official records. An instrument was also used to compile supervision intensity and positive adjustment information during community supervision. These data were collected from offenders' supervising officers at predetermined intervals over the follow-up period. The performance of boot camp participants was compared with that of offenders who were eligible for the shock program but did not attend. Study results provide little conclusive evidence that the shock incarceration programs had a positive effect on offender behavior. The data do suggest that supervision intensity plays an important role in shaping offenders' activities during community supervision. 8 tables, 4 figures, and 25 references

Date Published: January 1, 1995