When these sorts of programs are run based on practical skill rather than ideology or intimidation, they have the potential to do more than save taxpayers money. They have the potential to improve the lives of the inmates.
To qualify for the boot camp, prisoners must be non-violent with relatively short criminal histories. Most today (62 percent) have meth-related offenses. Instead of spending 48 months in prison, these inmates spend 6 months in an intense boot camp. Then they move onto a second phase consisting of frequent visits by corrections officers and frequent treatment for drug or alcohol problems.
The report estimates that boot camp has saved more than $18 million, by keeping graduates from landing in prison again. According to Duwe, the Minnesota camp lasts longer than the average of other states, and is followed by a year of home supervision and intense drug treatment.
A key part of making this sort of program work is the follow up that helps people apply what they've learned and to know there is a consequences for returning to bad habits.
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