Bush to Eliminate Shock Incaceration Program for First Time Offenders

This from today's Buffalo News....

The Bush administration plans to eliminate a shock incarceration program that many considered a progressive way to help first-time offenders avoid long federal prison terms. While no formal announcement has been made, Carla Wilson, a U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman in Washington, confirmed Friday that the 14-year-old Intensive Confinement Program will be discontinued.

....The program was designed for younger, nonviolent, first-time convicts who faced no more than 30 months in federal prison. Those who qualified spent six months in an intensive "boot camp" that provided strict discipline, job training and counseling, followed by time in a community halfway house and home confinement.

At least one federal judge is angry. We expect more to have the same reaction - as will many professionals working within the system.

"I'm shocked," said District Judge William M. Skretny, who has recommended about 60 defendants for the program since becoming a judge in 1990. "I'd be very disappointed if this shutdown goes forward. I've had prisoners write to me after going through the program and tell me what a positive experience it has been in their lives."

"This is a step backward for the rehabilitation of criminals," said Timothy W. Hoover, a federal public defender. "This is the crown jewel of the federal prison system. It helps people to get their lives on track. They're shutting it down without even consulting with the most important people - the judges who do the sentencing."

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    Yeah, would seem stupid for Bush to be killing a program if it is actually working. Are there any studies with respect to the recidivism rate of participants?

    What the "H" Bush is up to his thing once more doing his best to keep people who did not do a Real crime. most people in our great prison camps! or FBP, do crimes like tax and talking back to so called federal "POLICE" But Bush and family have a plan and that plan is make work camps like in Red China.

    Maybe this program had some good in it but I don't believe in abusive "boot camp" programs like this that torture people legally.

    Re: Bush to Eliminate Shock Incaceration Program f (none / 0) (#4)
    by TomK on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 04:17:54 PM EST
    I agree with OneWorld. My first thought was "Good I do not like boot camps."

    Re: Bush to Eliminate Shock Incaceration Program f (none / 0) (#5)
    by cp on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 06:24:52 PM EST
    ok, has anyone been killed in one of these? if not, that's a good reason right there to cancel it. clearly, they aren't doing their jobs correctly. seriously, i doubt these are the same kind of "boot camp" situations that make the news, in a bad way. first, they aren't privately run, with little or no oversight. second, if they were torturing or killing people, we would already have heard about it by now, they aren't in foreign countries. this is a heck of a lot cheaper than the alternative: paying to have someone locked up forever.

    OK, here's the skinny. Prison is like any society, it has rules, it has "bad parts of town", it has good people and bad people. Anyone thrown into that situation for the first time is scared to death. However, after about 6 months the newbie learns the rules, learns who to hang with to stay out of trouble, learns to get by. After that, the fear is pretty much gone. Then it's just surviving until you get out. So, if you can get them in, show them the bad parts when they're still scared you have a chance of doing some good. After 6 months, forget it. They become me. I'm not afraid of the place, not afraid to go back. I would rather not go back and I conduct my life such that I probably won't (probably because prosecutors can make anyone a criminal if they want), but I'm not afraid anymore. So keep the boot camps. Nobody comes out of hard time better than they went in. If any one person comes out of boot camp better, it's a plus.