Prison boot camps are getting the boot, says USA Today. The Federal Bureau of Prisons will end its “intensive confinement” program after the current batch of 525 inmates completes the military-style course over the next six months in California, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Bureau of Prisons Director Harley Lappin said the boot camps, which emphasize physical training and discipline, are no more successful than ordinary incarceration when it comes to preventing released convicts from returning to crime. The shutdown will save the bureau – which oversees about 180,000 inmates at 104 facilities – will save more than $1 million a year.
Boot camps were introduced in 27 states and in the federal prison system beginning in the 1980s. A federal study in 2003 found that programs in Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, and New York had no significant impact on convicts’ tendency to do recidivate. By 2000, states had closed nearly one-third of the 75 adult boot camps they had been operating five years earlier.