Correctional Boot Camps
Correctional boot camps first opened in the United States in Georgia and Oklahoma in 1983. These camps are part of the adult correctional system. According to the National Criminal Justice Service (NCJRS), boot camps are in prison programs with the correctional sanction that demonstrate Military Basic Tactics such as , physical training, drills, ceremonies, education etc. Correctional boot camps are also referred to as shock probation and or intensive incarceration. Cook County Boot Camp presently known as Vocational Rehabilitation Impact Center or V.R.I.C. is another alternative when sentencing an inmate, other than a traditional prison sentence. The Boot Camp/Vocational Rehabilitation Impact Center is within the Cook County Jail located on a 10.2 acre.
Cook County Jail
The Cook County Sheriff’s Department runs the Cook County Jail, boot camp and it depends on its partnership with the local court system and Department of Corrections to operate the boot camp. The Cook County Jail, boot camp is a 12 month program, which includes 18 weeks of military style boot camp setting and consists of 240 day intensive after care program (ncjrs). The inmates live in platoon style dormitories with 48 inmates in each platoon. The program is intended to provide incarceration for inmates who received court orders. These court orders generally involve non-violent offenders and they typically receive a 4 month firm detention sentence. The 12 moth program is broken up into two phases, the residential and post release phase (cookcountysheriff). The residential phase involves eighteen weeks of intense military correction. The post release phase is ongoing for eight months and a case manager is assigned to the inmate. The inmate is obligated to communicate on a daily basis with the assigned case manager.
Cook County Jail, Boot Camp is designed for those who are first and second non- violent offenders. Men that range from the age 17-35 and meet all the eligibility requirements will be considered for boot camp. Other contributing factors when deciding on a candidate for Cook County’s Jails boot camp is the fact that these offenders by no means have never committed a violent or sex-related crime. Also, the offender must have never served more than one term in prison (digibridge). Another distinguishing factor when choosing inmates candidates for Cook County Jail, boot camp is the inmate must plead guilty to their charges and reach an agreement to put in the program. At this point inmates will undergo psychological and health screenings before they are admitted. If one inmate should have an illness or psychological condition the inmate my not be approved for boot camp (digibridge).
Although, the boot camp is providing detention for male men from ages 17-35, its objective goal is to aimed towards younger male men. According to the Cook County Sheriff’s Department website, “The Boot Camp program is aimed at reaching and impacting younger offenders at an early stage of criminality before they develop a pattern of recidivism leading to repeat incarceration and more serious crimes against society. The program will attempt to make that impact utilizing a curriculum that combines military discipline, fundamental vocational skills, education, drug/alcohol abuse treatment and manual labor”, (digibridg). Even though, the Sheriff’s Department may aim at certain goals of the boot camp program. The boot camp program is designed to have a set of goals. Some of these goals include, reducing recidivism, reducing prison populations and reducing cost.
Nonetheless, boot camps are a form of Intermediate Sanctions, with the purpose of rehabilitation, retribution, deterrence and incapacitation. Rehabilitation says it all when it comes to Cook County Jail, Boot Camp, currently known as the Vocational Rehabilitation Impact Center. Rehabilitation seems to be the common goal within the Cook County Jail,...
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