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NY DOCCS Marks 25th Anniversary of Shock Incarceration
By NY Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
Published: 09/28/2012

Successful boot camp-style program that incorporates intensive drug and alcohol treatment, education and counseling has saved New York State taxpayers approximately $1.340 billion as an alternative to traditional incarceration

ALBANY – The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision today recognized the 25th anniversary of its Shock Incarceration Program, which was launched in 1987 at the Monterey Shock Incarceration Facility in Schuyler County.

Shock is a six-month program that is similar in nature to a military boot camp regimen, but it incorporates intensive substance abuse treatment and academic education within a therapeutic community setting. Since its inception at Monterey (Schuyler County), the program was expanded to the Summit (closed in 2011), Moriah (Essex County), and Lakeview Shock (Chautauqua County) Incarceration facilities, culminating in 1995 with the opening of Willard Drug Treatment Campus (Seneca County), a program for parole violators similar to the regimen of a shock incarceration facility.

All Shock participants are engaged in comprehensive life skills programs that include academic education, group counseling, intensive alcohol and substance abuse treatment, physical training, drill instruction and work crews. Shock provides 675 hours of substance abuse treatment and education in each six-month session. Shock inmates pass the GED at a rate of 80%.

In an Executive Chamber Proclamation highlighting the program’s anniversary, Governor Cuomo stated, “The Shock Incarceration Program is a groundbreaking program that has contributed significantly to the state’s lower incarceration levels, improved public safety within our communities and reduced costs to our state.”

Between 1987 and July of 2012, 79,114 Shock eligible inmates were screened for program participation, including 6,694 females. Ultimately, 61,687 inmates were transferred into Shock with 45,135 graduating (including 3,251 females), saving New York State taxpayers an estimated $1.340 billion.

DOCCS Commissioner Brian Fischer, today participating in a ceremony commemorating the program’s anniversary, stated, “The Shock Incarceration Program owes its success to the best trained and most dedicated staff the Department has, and to the creativity and support of individuals who brought it into existence twenty-five years ago and those who have since maintained its standards and practices. In recognizing the history and value of the Shock Incarceration Program, we need to understand that we are recognizing our staff, the people who have dedicated their lives to helping others develop into better members of society.”

In terms of its impact on recidivism, 26% of Shock graduates who were released from Shock facilities in 2007 or 2008 returned to prison within three years compared to 42% for all DOCCS releases to parole supervision in 2007. Of the Shock graduates who were released from Shock facilities in 2007, 2008, 2009 or 2010 7% returned to prison within one year compared to 20% for all releases in the same time period.

As of today, there are 1,100 inmates participating in the Shock program: 589 men and 119 women at Lakeview, 205 men at Monterey and 187 men at Moriah.

Since 2000, the Parole Board has approved 97% of the successful Shock graduates. Shock graduates serving determinate sentences are conditionally released once they complete the Shock program. Upon graduating all offenders are supervised by parole officers assigned by the Department’s Community Supervision division.

The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) is responsible for the care, custody and treatment of individuals sentenced to state prison and for working with them to ensure their successful re-entry into the community. The Department operates 60 correctional facilities (including the Willard Drug Treatment Campus and the Edgecombe Residential Drug Treatment facility) and oversees 38 community supervision (parole) field offices across the state. DOCCS currently provides care, custody and supervision of approximately 94,000 individuals: 56,000 in custody in correctional and drug treatment facilities and 38,000 under post-release community supervision.



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