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NY Prison Shock Camps Claim Lower Recidivism

by Associated Press
Drill Sargeant
Encore! [ Stefano Coviello ], flickr

NY millitary style prisoner rehabilitation camp successful.

New York corrections officials say they have graduated 45,000 inmates from military-style boot camp over the past 25 years and most don't come back.

Established around the country in the 1980s as an alternative to prison, the so-called "shock camps" got mixed reviews and several states dropped them. New York kept three shock camps going with a model they consider effective, with lower recidivism and cost savings.

Only prisoners convicted of nonviolent crimes, who volunteer and sign contracts, go. Many drop out or are kicked out before completing the six months of mandatory physical training, manual labor and drug counseling, scrutinized by drill instructors.

The benefit is a shortened prison sentence.

Some observers say lower recidivism is predictable because it's a self-selected group that proved capable of finishing the program.



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