Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Criminology and Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Dr. Lisa Sample


In 1983 Georgia and Oklahoma began implementing a new type of alternative sanction called prison boot camps. These alternative sanctions were an attempt to alleviate problems such a prison overcrowding, cost of long-term imprisonment, and high recidivism rates among offenders. As boot camps proliferated across the U.S., two distinct types of programs evolved, the military and the therapeutic styles. Given the extensive use of these types of boot camps across the country, it is important to determine which style is most effective at achieving their intended goals. For this research, I use data collected by MacKenzie and Souryal (1994) to determine which type of boot camp program is better able to reduce offender recidivism. The results indicate that there was not a significant difference in recidivism across programs, but both programs exhibit lower recidivism rates than those found nationally for prisons. This findings is used to explore implications for future boot camp design and its influence on public safety.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Criminal Justice and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Joshua M. Towey July, 2007