The total effects of boot camps that house juveniles: A systematic review of the evidence

Benjamin Meade, Benjamin Steiner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Boot camp programs were first introduced in the 1980s, became increasingly popular as a correctional sanction, and were widely adopted and implemented throughout the United States. This study involved an examination of the prevalence of state run boot camps for juvenile delinquents and a systematic review of the existing evaluations of boot camp programs that house juveniles. In addition to the effects of boot camps on recidivism, within program effects on participants' attitudes and perceptions of boot camp, and jurisdiction-level effects on bed space were examined. Findings revealed that boot camps are less prevalent than they were in the 1990s. Boot camps, by themselves, typically do not have an effect on participants' odds of recidivism. Boot camps do seem to improve individuals' attitudes and other behaviors within programs. Boot camps also appear to reduce the number of confinement beds jurisdictions require, often resulting in cost savings. These findings are discussed in terms of their implications for research and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)841-853
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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