CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Saturday, January 8, 2005

Bush, Inmate Rehabilitation and the Shock Incarceration Program

The Berman Blog has an excellent post today about the Bush Administration's view of rehabilitation as a goal of incarceration.  The post also discusses the fact that the Administration is planning to end the shock incarceration program, which allows certain inmates who have a chance to be rehabilitated to serve a shorter prison sentence in a "boot camp" environment in which they learn discipline and get job training.  This news if very disappointing. When I was a federal prosecutor, I recommended this option for three nineteen year olds that I prosecuted who stole money from a post office.  I later heard news that two of them had really turned their lives around after the program, and one was attending junior college and playing baseball.  They credited the shock incarceration program for setting them straight.  Having grown up in the projects without many prospects, this was a very good alternative for these young men that seemingly made a difference.  [Mark Godsey]

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the program was the one experiance ill never was one of the only times in my life where i felt like i acomplished something,and felt as if there was a future for me.but all that tearing down and build back up just to get put right back into the same enviorment,really was the worst thing they could of done.there should of been more options once we graduated from shock we should of been able to join the military. i can guarantee 99%of shckers would of went..

Posted by: gil | Jan 15, 2005 6:27:50 AM

I personally think that the whole system is messed up. Immigration, Bush's administration with the help of certain laws are just keeping people (mothers, fathers, sons, daughters) in prison. In the majority of the cases that have INS hold on them for example my fiancee's case, will end up in deportation. They do not think of how serious is the "crime" committed, for all I know you could end up deported for shoplifting for all I'm informed. Children and wifes whom are U.S citizens are left behind without their relative. The system is not caring whether these inmates have family ties here in the U.S or not, for them it is meaningless. A law that really gets to me is the Rockefeller law for drug possesion or distribution. If the purpose is to minimize or end drug sale, it is never going to happen that way. Prisons are being filled up and the real "Kingpins" of drug distribution are not being caught. When the "little sellers" get caught, their bosses just hire new "little sellers". They should change these laws and put these little distributors in work programs or boot camps like the shock incarceration program. I really do hope someday these ridiculous laws would change, because otherwise at the rate judges are giving out prison sentences, by the end of 2050 nearly half of the U.S would be imprisoned.

Posted by: jamie | Apr 5, 2005 11:35:21 PM

I graduated shock in 2001 top notch 1-B-22. The shock program saved my life. I learned the true measure of man is what he does when no one is looking. I learned how to take responsibility of my actions. I learned to reflect on the past,look forward to the future, but to focus on the present. I acquired my G.E.D. before I graduated which gave a great since of accomplishment. I just finished the durration of my parole on Febuary 25th 2005, and now working for a mortgage company.

Posted by: sherman utley | Apr 19, 2005 12:36:16 PM

Shock incarceration should be an option for certain types of non-violent first-time offenders (e.g. drug possession, "statutory rape", property crimes, and so on. It provides much less disruption and stigmatization than a normal prison term, and much less opportunity for the offender to meet new, significantly worse criminals.

Posted by: Dennis | Apr 15, 2006 11:19:01 AM

Did anyone have to go to regular jail fist or did you go straight to shock

Posted by: D Cook | Apr 18, 2007 4:44:46 PM

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