Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

History of Boot Camps

  • Ojmarrh Mitchell
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_277



Correctional boot camps are programs modeled after military basic training. Just like basic training, boot camps emphasize drill and ceremony, and physical activity. Generally, boot camps target young, nonviolent offenders with limited criminal history. Boot camps are almost always short-term programs lasting 90–180 days. Inmates who successfully complete these programs are released under supervision back to the community; however, inmates who drop out or are dismissed from the boot camps often are required to serve longer terms of incarceration in traditional correctional facilities.

Correctional boot camps in the United States emerged, proliferated, and receded with remarkable speed. In the early 1980s, boot camps emerged in two states. Soon thereafter, boot camps became a national phenomenon with at least one boot camp operating in the majority of states by the mid-1990s. Near their peak popularity, the...

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Recommended Reading and References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CriminologyUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA