The Quehanna (PA) Motivational Boot Camp Program was established to provide an alternative to incarceration in a prison setting for individuals with substance abuse issues. In addition to providing alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment, the 6-month program aims to promote improved decision-making skills and prosocial values through a cognitive–behavioral therapy program, as well as providing education, vocational training, and community work projects. The residential aftercare component of the Boot Camp Program aimed to help graduates readjust to society following release into the community by providing counseling on substance abuse, life skills, and employment, depending on client needs.
To be eligible for the boot camp, Pennsylvania’s statute required that participants be 1) sentenced to state prison with a minimum sentence not exceeding 2 years (or 3 years if the offender served 1 year in prison); 2) younger than 35 years; and 3) not convicted of certain violent or major drug-trafficking offenses. From March 2002 through the end of the program in August 2014, all boot camp participants were mandated to participate in the residential aftercare component.
In March 2002, Pennsylvania passed a statute that called for a 90-day, structured reentry program for graduates of the boot camp to the aftercare component and provided a minimum of 3 months of residency in a structured, supervised residential facility. The program provided participants with reorientation to the community, which involved families and the parole agent. The program also provided cognitive–behavioral therapy, job readiness skills, job acquisition, and drug and alcohol follow-up treatment service. In December of 2002, this statute was reduced to a 30-day requirement. The same residential aftercare sites were used to treat individuals mandated to the 30- and 90-day aftercare services. The programs were all nonprofit, private halfway houses that were accredited by the American Correctional Association. The sites reported using urine testing and provided substance-abuse, life-skills, and employment-counseling services as indicated by client need. The residential aftercare component ended in August 2014.
Aftercare programs are service programs or case-management strategies designed to augment traditional parole supervision and help individuals successfully navigate obstacles (e.g., disruption of social bonds to family and community, loss of employment, diminished ability to find employment due to their conviction) to integrating back into society. Although many institutions provide treatment and rehabilitation programs, their programs are often located in an isolated environment, which is not sufficient to prepare participants for the outside world.
Further, survival skills in prison are different from survival skills outside of prison. The aftercare component to the Boot Camp Program was designed to give boot camp graduates tools to navigate the obstacles of assimilating back into the world outside prison. By providing boot camp graduates with assistance with their substance use issues, as well as life- skills and employment counseling, the aftercare program was designed to ease the inmates’ transition back into society (Kurlychek et al. 2011).
Recidivism (90-Day Aftercare Program)
Kurlychek and colleagues (2011) examined the impact of the 90-day aftercare program of the Quehanna (PA) Motivational Boot Camp, compared with no aftercare after boot camp, and found no significant effects of treatment on recidivism.
Recidivism (30-Day Aftercare Program)
The impact of the 30-day aftercare program, compared with no aftercare after boot camp, was also examined. No significant effects of treatment on recidivism were found
The design of Kurlychek and colleagues (2011) was a natural experiment that occurred under three conditions between April 2001 and February 2002. All Quehanna (PA) Motivational Boot Camp graduates were mandated to participate in the residential aftercare component. The mandate originally required the state to intensively supervise boot camp graduates upon release. In March 2002, a new policy was implemented that mandated 90 days of residential aftercare, and in December 2002, the policy was changed to mandate only 30 days of residential aftercare. Treatment consisted of residency in a structured, supervised residential facility.
The 374 individuals in the pre-mandatory aftercare group (i.e., graduates between April 2001 and February 2002) served as the comparison group for the aftercare component of the program. The 342 in the 90-day program (i.e., graduates between March 2002 and December 2002) and the 375 in the 30-day mandatory aftercare group (i.e., graduates between January 2003 and October 2003) were considered two separate treatment groups.
The 30-day aftercare group was 98 percent male, 69 percent white, and 80 percent unmarried. Similarly, the 90-day aftercare group was 96 percent male, 69 percent white, and 82 percent unmarried. The no-aftercare group was 97 percent male, 69 percent white, and 83 percent unmarried. The groups did not differ significantly on most variables, which also included education level, employment prior to boot camp, whether their major source of income was illegal or through employment, and their current offense. However, because the groups did differ significantly on mean number of prior arrests and mean scores on the attitudinal scales at the time of graduation from boot camp, those between-group differences were controlled for in the multivariate analyses.
Recidivism was measured two ways: 1) rearrest for a new crime as indicated by offender rap sheets provided by the Pennsylvania State Police; and 2) rearrest or recommitment on a technical violation using the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections inmate move file. The follow-up period was 2 years. A multivariate, continuous time proportional hazards model (using Cox semiparametric regression techniques) was used to evaluate the failure (reoffending) rate for the control and treatment groups.
There is no cost information available for this program.
This is an evaluation of the residential aftercare component for graduates of the Quehanna (PA) Motivational Boot Camp. The boot camp program included a variety of aftercare components over time, ranging from minimal to residential aftercare. It is also rated as No Effects on Crimesolutions.gov.
Evidence-Base (Studies Reviewed)
These sources were used in the development of the program profile:Study 1
Kurlychek, Megan C., Andrew P. Wheeler, Leigh A. Tinik, and Cynthia A. Kempinen. 2011. "How Long After? A Natural Experiment Assessing the Impact of the Length of Aftercare Service Delivery on Recidivism." Crime & Delinquency
Following are CrimeSolutions.gov-rated practices that are related to this program:Adult Boot Camps
Correctional boot camps (also called shock or intensive incarceration programs) are short-term residential programs that resemble military basic training and target convicted adult offenders. The practice is rated No Effects and found not to reduce recidivism. The likelihood of boot camp participants recidivating was roughly equal to the likelihood of comparison participants recidivating.Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
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