Two hundred thirty four adult male inmates entering prison were randomly assigned to an early release program in either a correctional boot camp or a large, traditional prison in the Maryland state correctional system. Boot camp releasees had marginally lower recidivism compared to those released from the traditional prison. A pre-test, post-test self report survey indicated the boot camp program had little impact on criminogenic characteristics except for a lowering of self control. In contrast, inmates in prison became more antisocial, lower in self control, worse in anger management, and reported more criminal tendencies by the end of their time in prison. Criminogenic attitudes and impulses were significantly associated with recidivism. The impact of the boot camp diminished to non-significance when antisocial attitudes or anger management problems were added to the models predicting recidivism. Implications for jurisdictions considering whether to operate correctional boot camps are discussed.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Although women were eligible for the boot camp, there were too few women in the program to permit a quantitative study of their recidivism.
During the study period, no inmate that was offered a contract turned it down.
One of these inmates was dropped from the BC because physical problems prohibited him from participating in the rigorous physical activities.
The difference is that the Weibull distribution includes a parameter to represent change in the shapes of the distribution of failure, whereas the exponential assumes that failure hazards are roughly constant over time. However, if the shape of the failure time identified in a Weibull model is, indeed, constant rather than changing, then the model simplifies into an exponential distribution regardless of whether we specified a “Weibull” or “exponential” model in the actual estimation process. However, if we estimate the “Weibull” model during the actual mechanics of running a program, when, in fact the equation is going to simplify into the same values as found in the exponential model, then we waste degrees of freedom because some power was used to estimate the extra ‘shape’ parameter within the Weibull model that contributed little to our understanding of the process at hand. Thus, it is desirable to test whether the addition of an extra parameter adds anything to our models that justifies the loss in parsimony and the loss in statistical computing power. The same can be said of other potential distributions which are increasingly elaborate in terms of additional parameters (Schmidt and Witte 1988; Yamaguchi 1991).
Individuals who failed to answer 20% or more of the items for any scale were excluded from the analysis for that scale. For those with less than 20% of the data missing, we replaced the items with the mean of the non-missing items and calculated the scale using these values.
Reliability analyses for all scales relied upon the full sample of Time 1 participants (n = 230).
Adapted and reproduced by special permission of the publisher, Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc., 16204 North Florida Avenue, Lutz, Fl 33549, USA, from the STAXI-2 by Charles D. Speilberger, Ph.D., Copyright 1976, 1986, 1988, 1999, by Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc. Reproduced by special permission of PAR, Inc.
Akers, R. L. (2000). Social learning and social structure: A general theory of crime and deviance. Boston, MA: Northeastern University Press.
Allison, P. (2002). Survival models using the SAS system: A practical guide. Cary, NC: SAS Publishing.
Andrews, D. A., & Bonta, J. (2003). The psychology of criminal conduct. Cincinnati, OH: Anderson Publishing Co.
Andrews, D. A., Zinger, I., Hoge, R. D., Bonta, J., Gendreau, P., & Cullen, F. T. (1990). Does correctional treatment work? A clinically relevant and psychologically informed meta-analysis. Criminology, 28, 369–397.
Arneklev, B., Grasmick, H., & Tittle, C. (1993). Low self-control and imprudent behavior. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 9(3), 225–247.
Caldwell, R., Silverman, J., & Lefforge, N. (2004). Adjudicated Mexican American adolescents: The effects of familial emotional support on self-esteem, emotional well-being, and delinquency. American Journal of Family Therapy, 32(1).
Clark, C. L., & Aziz, D. (1996). Shock incarceration in New York State: Philosophy, results, and limitations. In D. L. MacKenzie & E. E. Hebert (Eds.), Correctional boot camps: A tough intermediate sanction. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice.
Cox, D., & Oaks, D. (1984). Analysis of survival data. New York: Chapman & Hall.
DeLisi, M., Hochstetle, A., & Murphy, D. (2003). Self-control behind bars: A validation study of the Grasmick et al. scale. Justice Quarterly, 20(2).
Foley, P., Hartman, B., Dunn, A., Smith, J., & Goldberg, D. (2002). The utility of the state-trait anger expression inventory with offenders. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 46(3).
Forgays, D., Forgays, D., & Speilberger, C. (1997). Factor Structure of the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory. Journal of Personality Assessment, 69(3).
Gendreau, P., & Andrews, D. (1994). The correctional program assessment inventory (5th ed.). Saint John: University of New Brunswick.
Gendreau, P., Little, T., & Goggin, C. (1996). A meta-analysis of the predictors of adult offender recidivism: What works!. Criminology, 34, 575–607.
Gendreau, P., & Ross, R. R. (1979). Effective correctional treatment: Bibliotherapy for cynics. Crime and Delinquency, 25, 463–489.
Gendreau, P., & Ross, R. R. (1987) Revivification of rehabilitation: Evidence from the 1980s. Justice Quarterly, 4, 349–407.
Giordano, P. C., Cernkovich, S. A., & Rudolph, J. L. (2002). Gender, crime, and desistance: Toward a theory of cognitive transformation. American Journal of Sociology, 107(4), 990–1064.
Gottfredson, M., & Hirschi, T. (1990). A general theory of crime. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Grasmick, H., Tittle, C., & Bursik, R. (1993). Testing the core empirical implications of Gottfredson and Hirschi’s general theory of crime. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 30(1).
Jesness, C. (1996). The Jesness inventory manual. North Tonowanda, NY: Multi-Health Systems Inc.
Jesness, C., & Roberts, W. (1983). Classifying offenders: The Jesness inventory classification system. Sacramento, CA: California Department of Youth Authority.
Kroner, D., & Loza, W. (2001). Evidence for the efficacy of self-report in predicting nonviolent and violent criminal recidivism. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 16(2), 168–177.
Latessa, E. J. (2003). Correctional Program Assessment Inventory Conducted on the Herman L. Toulson Correctional Boot Camp. Unpublished manuscript: University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.
Latessa, E. J., & Holsinger, A. (1998). The importance of evaluating correctional programs: Assessing outcome and quality. Corrections Management Quarterly, 2(4), 22–29.
Lipsey, M. (1992). Juvenile delinquency treatment: A meta-analytic inquiry into the variability of effects. In T. Cook, H. Cooper, D. Cordray, H. Hartmann, L. Hedges, R. Light, T. Louis & F. Mosteller (Eds.), Meta-analysis for explanation. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Lipsey, M. W., & Wilson, D. B. (2001). Practical meta-analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Pub, Inc.
Longshore, D., Stein, J., & Turner, S. (1998). Reliability and validity of a self-control measure: A rejoinder. Criminology, 36.
Longshore, D., Turner, S., & Stein, J. (1996). Self-control in a criminal sample: An examination of construct validity. Criminology, 34.
Lowenkamp, C., Latessa, E., & Holsinger, A. (2006). The risk principle in action: What have we learned from 13,676 offenders and 97 correctional programs? Crime & Delinquency, 52(1).
Loza, W., Dhaliwal, G., Kroner, D., & Loza-Fanous, A. (2000). Reliability, construct, and concurrent concurrent validities of the self-appraisal questionnaire. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 27(3).
Loza, W., & Loza-Fanous, A. (2000). Predictive validity of the self-appraisal questionnaire (SAQ): A tool for assessing violent and nonviolent release failures. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 15(11).
Loza, W., & Loza-Fanous, A. (2001). The effectiveness of the self-appraisal questionnaire in predicting offenders’ post release outcome. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 28(1).
Lutze, R. E., & Brody, D. (1999). Mental abuse and unusual punishment: Do boot camp prisons violate the eighth amendment? Crime and Delinquency, 45, 242–255.
Lutze, R. E., & Murphy, D. (1999). Ultramasculine prison environments and inmates’ adjustment: It’s time to move beyond the ‘Boys will be Boys’ paradigm. Justice Quarterly, 16, 709–733.
MacKenzie, D. L. (2000). Evidence-based corrections: Identifying what works. Crime and Delinquency, 46(4), 457–471.
MacKenzie, D. L. (2002). Reducing the criminal activities of known offenders and delinquents: Crime prevention in the courts and corrections. In L. W. Sherman, D. P. Farrington, B. C. Welsh & D. L. MacKenzie (Eds.) Evidence-based crime prevention. London: Routledge.
MacKenzie, D. L. (2006). What works in corrections? Reducing the recidivism of offenders and delinquents. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
MacKenzie, D. L., & Armstrong, G. S. (Eds.). (2004). Correctional boot camps: Military basic training or a model for corrections? Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Pub, Inc.
MacKenzie, D. L., & Hebert E. E. (Eds.). (1996). Correctional boot camps: A tough intermediate sanction. Washington DC: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice
MacKenzie, D. L., & Parent, D. (2004). Boot camp prisons for young offenders. In D. L. MacKenzie & G. J. Styve (Eds.), Correctional boot camps: Military basic training or a model for corrections. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Pub, Inc.
MacKenzie, D. L., & Rosay, A. B. (2004). Correctional boot camps for juveniles. In D. L. MacKenzie & G. J. Styve (Eds.) Correctional boot camps: Military basic training or a model for corrections? Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Pub, Inc.
MacKenzie, D. L., & Souryal, C.v. (1995). Inmate attitude change during incarceration: A comparison of boot camp with traditional prison. Justice Quarterly, 12(2), 325–354.
MacKenzie, D. L., Wilson, D. B., Armstrong, G. S., & Gover, A. R. (2001). The impact of boot camps and traditional institutions on juvenile residents: Perception, adjustment and change. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 38(3), 279–313.
Morash, M., & Rucker, L. (1990). Critical look at the idea of boot camp as a correctional reform. Crime & Delinquency, 36, 204–222.
Nye, I. (1958). Family relationships and delinquent behavior. Westport, CN: Greenwood Press.
Parent, D. G. (1989). Shock incarceration: An overview of existing programs. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice.
Pinsoneault, T. B. (1998). A Variable Response Inconsistency scale and a True Response Inconsistency scale for the Jesness Inventory. Psychological Assessment, 10.
Piquero, A., & Rosay, A. (1998). The reliability and validity of Grasmick et al.’s self-control scale: A comment on Longshore et al. Criminology, 36(1).
Posey, D. (1988). Special issue: Correctional classification based upon psychological characteristics. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 15(1).
Schmidt, P., & Witte, A. (1988). Predicting Recidivism Using Survival Models. New York: Springer-Verlag.
Sechrest, D. D. (1989). Prison “boot camps” do not measure up. Federal Probation, 53, 15–20.
Sherman, L. (1993). Defiance, deterrence, and irrelevance: A theory of the criminal sanction. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 30(4).
Speilberger, C., Reheiser, E., & Sydman, S. E. (1995). Measuring the Experience, Expression, and Control of Anger. In H. Kassinove (Ed.), Anger disorders: definitions, diagnosis, and treatment. Washington, D.C.: Taylor and Francis.
Speilberger, C., Sydeman, S., Owen, A., & Marsh, B. (1999). Measuring anxiety and anger with the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and the Stat-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI). In M. E. Maruish (Ed.), The Use of Psychological Testing for Treatment Planning and Outcome Assessments (2nd edition). Mahwah: Lawernce Erlbaum Associates.
Weisburd, D. (2003). Ethical practice and evaluation of interventions in crime and justice: The moral imperative for randomized trials. Evaluation Review, 27(3), 336–354.
Wilson, D. B., & MacKenzie, D. L. (2005). Correctional boot camps and offending. In B. C. Welsh & D. P. Farrington (Eds.). Preventing crime: What works for children, offenders, victims, and places. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Wilson, D., Mackenzie, D., & Mitchell, O. (2005). Effects of Correctional Boot Camps on Offending. Campbell Collaboration, http://www.Campbellcollaboration.org/.
Yamaguchi, K. (1991). Event history analysis. New York: Sage Publications.
Zachariah, J. K. (1996). An overview of boot camp goals, components, and results. In D. L. MacKenzie & E. E. Hebert (Eds), Correctional boot camps: A tough intermediate sanction. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice.
This project was supported in part by 2003-DB-BX-0004, awarded by the US Department of Justice. The Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, Coordinates the activities of the program offices and bureaus. Points of view or opinions contained within this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice.
Funding was provided by the State of Maryland, Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, BYRN-2002-1286.
About this article
Cite this article
MacKenzie, D.L., Bierie, D. & Mitchell, O. An experimental study of a therapeutic boot camp: Impact on impulses, attitudes and recidivism. J Exp Criminol 3, 221–246 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11292-007-9027-z
- Anger management
- Antisocial attitudes
- Boot camp prisons
- Correctional boot camps
- Correctional treatment
- Shock incarceration programs
- Therapeutic prisons