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This is New York state's Shock Incarceration program — often known as correctional boot camp — at its flagship Lakeview facility upstate, on the shore of Lake Erie.The program allows convicts who are serving up to three years for nonviolent, nonsexual crimes to opt out of prison and sign up instead for an intensive, six-month stint in one of the state's Shock Incarceration facilities, designed to recondition them physically and mentally through a mixture of military-style training, group counseling, alcohol- and substance-abuse treatment, education and vocational-skills workshops.In Georgia, an inmate costs .07 while a prisoner in jail costs .22, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.Boot camp can be more costly In some instances, boot camp - because of high dropout rates - may add to the cost a state pays per prisoner.``In fact, over the years, we've seen them deteriorate into sadistic places that turn the men they try to heal into brutes.''Indeed, for the past 10 years, states have wrestled with criticisms that boot camps haven't made a dent in crime.Inmates who qualify for camp programs can choose it over longer sentences of from one to five years in regular prison.``When you're dealing with first-time offenders, the goal is to make them do their time without sticking them in the same cell as hard-core criminals,'' Mr. Still, many have criticized boot camps, saying they aren't conducive to teaching respect for authority.According to Hunter Hurst, director of the National Center for Juvenile Justice who many years ago served time in a camp himself, boot camp is merely a form of conditioning.
Most feature hard labor and drills aimed at shocking offenders into becoming good citizens; some offer school training and group support meetings.They say if camps can help a few offenders, then they're making a crack in the crime rate.``Boot camps aren't a panacea,'' said Al Blumstein, a criminologist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.``They represent a means to reform a fraction of those offenders who can be helped.''Critics counter that even if camp program effectiveness differs by state, the fact that recidivism rates can approach 60 percent speaks for itself. " yell 400 inmates spaced out across a large parade ground.The rest of their day will be structured down to the minute, including several hours of hard labor, until lights out in a large dormitory at p.m.