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Program Profile: Challenge Incarceration Program (CIP)

Evidence Rating: Promising - One study Promising - One study

Date: This profile was posted on July 31, 2017

Program Summary

This boot camp intervention in Minnesota combines a traditional military institutional program for 6 months with two 6-month phases of intensive, supervised release aftercare. The program is rated Promising. Program participants had statistically significant lower rates of re-arrest, felony reconviction, and return to prison for a new offense than the comparison group, but no statistically significant difference in the rate of return to prison for any offense.

Program Description

Program Goals
The Minnesota-based Challenge Incarceration Program (CIP) is an intervention that provides individuals who are good candidates for early release from prison with a combination of boot camp and intensive aftercare rehabilitation. CIP is designed to reduce recidivism and reduce the costs of incarceration.
Target Population
CIP targets individuals who have been convicted of a nonviolent drug and property offense and are perceived as good candidates for early release. The program specifically excludes those individuals who have extensive criminal or institutional discipline histories and considers such factors as gang affiliation, victim impact, community concern, or lack of residential ties to Minnesota.
Program Components
The program consists of three phases: Phase I, the boot camp intervention with rehabilitation services; Phase II, the initial community component with intensive supervised release (ISR); and Phase III, the final community component with continued ISR.
Phase I is conducted at the Minnesota Correctional Facility (MCF)-Willow River for males and at the MCF-Togo for females. It is composed of a rigorous 16-hour daily schedule consisting of strenuous activity and discipline, including military drills, physical training, and intensive manual labor. Additionally, intervention participants participate in rehabilitation treatments that address critical thinking skills, chemical dependency, educational development, and planning for transition back into the community. Upon the completion of this phase, individuals are released from the correctional facilities into the community, where they participate in Phase II.
Phase II consists of engaging in daily intensive supervision interactions, participating in random drug and/or alcohol testing, maintaining full-time employment, abiding by curfews, performing community service, and participating in additional aftercare programming. After completing Phase II, individuals progress to Phase III, which continues the intensive supervision, community service, employment, and aftercare programming. Participants are considered CIP graduates when they complete Phase III.
Additional Information
The practice of boot camp interventions has gone through multiple revisions. The earliest versions were short in duration and stressed military discipline. The second version began incorporating therapeutic programming and intensively supervising program graduates. This current third version includes an imbedded rehabilitation treatment that addresses critical thinking, drug/alcohol dependency, educational development, and transitional planning (Duwe and Kerschner 2008).

Evaluation Outcomes

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Study 1
Duwe and Kerschner (2008) found that the Challenge Incarceration Program (CIP) participants were less likely to be re-arrested than the comparison group (62 percent versus 75 percent, respectively) during the follow-up period. This difference was statistically significant.
Felony Reconviction
The CIP participants were less likely to be convicted of a felony than the comparison group (32 percent versus 46 percent, respectively) during the follow-up period. This difference was statistically significant.
Return to Prison for a New Offense
The CIP participants were less likely to return to prison for a new offense than the comparison group (22 percent versus 34 percent, respectively) during the follow-up period. This difference was statistically significant. 
Return to Prison for Any Offense
There was no statistically significant difference between the CIP group and the comparison group on rate of return to prison for any offense.
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Evaluation Methodology

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Study 1
Duwe and Kerschner (2008), using a retrospective quasi-experimental design for the Minnesota Department of Corrections, evaluated the Challenge Incarceration Program (CIP) for individuals eligible for early release from prison.
The study participants were all individuals who entered CIP from October 1992 to June 2002—whether they completed all three phases or not. The CIP program admission eligibility was established to include individuals who were housed in a Minnesota correctional facility, who had been convicted of nonviolent drug or property violations, and who were perceived to be good candidates for early release. The comparison group was composed of individuals who were released from a different Minnesota correctional facility within a similar timeframe, January 1993 to December 2002. The CIP intervention group was composed of all individuals who at least participated in Phase I. The comparison group was released back into the community without the boot camp intervention.
Of the 1,347 individuals in the CIP group, 90.3 percent were male and 54.6 percent were white. Similarly, of the 1,555 individuals in the comparison group, 90.7 percent were male and 54 percent were white. No other information on race/ethnicity or age was provided. The two groups were matched on offense type: 75 percent were incarcerated for drugs, 21 percent for property offenses, and 4 percent had committed other crimes. The multistage sampling technique, confirmed by independent t-tests, resulted in no statistically significant differences between the two groups on any of the demographic information collected before the study began.
Cox proportional hazard models used both time and status variables to estimate the impact of program participation on recidivism. The follow-up period began with release and averaged 7.2 years, with a range of 3 to 13 years. Release was defined for the comparison group as the first instance of exiting prison and being placed on some form of supervision. For the CIP group, release was defined as any instance in which the participant completed Phase I of CIP and was released into the community. For those in the CIP group who failed to complete Phase I, their follow-up period began, like the comparison group, upon release into the community.
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A cost–benefit analysis was conducted using the savings from providing early release to program graduates and reducing recidivism. In regard to the early release savings attributed to the program, there was a deficit for the period of 1993 to1997 of $3.7 million, but a savings of $6.5 million from 1998 to 2002. The Challenge Incarceration Program (CIP) intervention was determined to have saved the state over $6 million over the 10 years studied when measuring reduced recidivism based on fewer victims, reduced restitution costs, decreased law enforcement, and court resources. The authors noted that savings attributable to paying taxes and economic benefits of employed individuals were not included in this calculation (Duwe and Kerschner 2008).
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Other Information

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In addition to comparing all who participated in Challenge Incarceration Program (CIP) with those who did not, the study authors also examined results for CIP participants by whether they completed Phase I. For the three statistically significant recidivism measures presented above (rearrest, felony reconviction, and return to prison for a new offense), results were statistically significant for Phase I completers and not significant for those who did not complete Phase I (Duwe and Kerschner 2008).
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Evidence-Base (Studies Reviewed)

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Study 1
Duwe, Grant, and Deborah Kerschner. 2008. “Removing a Nail from the Boot Camp Coffin: An Outcome Evaluation of Minnesota’s Challenge Incarceration Program.” Crime & Delinquency 54(4):614–43.

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Additional References

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Duwe, Grant. 2013. What Works with Minnesota Prisoners: A Summary of the Effects of Correctional Programming on Recidivism, Employment, and Cost Avoidance.: St. Paul, Minn.: Minnesota Department of Corrections.

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Related Practices

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Following are 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:
No Effects - One Meta-Analysis Crime & Delinquency - Multiple crime/offense types
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Program Snapshot

Gender: Both

Race/Ethnicity: White, Other

Setting (Delivery): Correctional

Program Type: Aftercare/Reentry, Boot Camps

Targeted Population: Prisoners

Current Program Status: Active

Listed by Other Directories: Campbell Collaboration, National Reentry Resource Center

Program Director:
William Bolin
Associate Warden of Operations
Challenge Incarceration Program
Phone: 218.485.2410

Program Director:
Paul Peterson
Corrections Program Director
Challenge Incarceration Program
Willow River MN
Phone: 218.485.2416

Program Director:
Kevin Fors
Corrections Program Director
Shakopee MN

Program Director:
Dale Zuk
Challenge Incarceration Program
Togo MN
Phone: 218.376.4055

Grant Duwe
Senior Research Analyst
Minnesota Department of Corrections
1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 200
St. Paul MN 55108
Phone: 651.361.7200