Pennsylvania's Boot Camp Offender Survey: The Initial Findings on Offender Characteristics and Attitudinal Changes

Megan Kurlychek, The Pennsylvania State University
Cynthia Kempinen, Pennsylvania State University

This paper presents the initial findings from a boot camp offender survey that is part of an ongoing research effort to evaluate the Pennsylvania State Motivational Boot Camp Program. Based on a sample of 293 offenders admitted to the Boot Camp from October 2000 to October 2001, this paper presents findings from (1) a Self-Report Survey and (2) a Boot Camp Evaluation Survey. The Self-Report Survey, given at the time of admission, provides in depth information on offender characteristics (e.g. demographics, family background, education and employment,) as well as prior offending and substance abuse histories. Preliminary results from the Boot Camp Evaluation Survey, given at both admission and graduation, compare offenders' expectations for the program with their actual experiences, as well as measures attitudinal changes along the following dimensions: self-control, decision-making, problem behaviors (particularly drug and alcohol abuse), desire for help, and expectations for the future. Combined, these surveys provide valuable information regarding the type of offender attending the boot camp and the program's ability to meet offender expectations and effect positive change.

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Updated 05/20/2006