Boot Camp Law and Legal Definition

Boot camp is a corrections program for juvenile and adult offenders in the U.S. It is a camp based on shock incarceration. In a boot camp, the offender is subject to strict discipline, hardlabor, and physical exercise. It is incarceration in a military type setting, ordinarily for a period of three to six months. After completing the program successfully, the offender is placed on probation. Boot camp is sometimes referred to as shock incarceration.

In most U.S. states participation in boot camp programs is offered to young first-time offenders in place of a prison term or probation.

The following is an example of a federal regulation defining the term:

According to 28 CFR 91.2, ‘boot camp’ means a corrections program for adult or juvenile offenders of not more than six-months confinement (not including time in confinement prior to assignment to the boot camp) involving:

(1) Assignment for participation in the program, in conformity with state law, by prisoners other than prisoners who have been convicted at any time for a violent felony;

(2) Adherence by inmates to a highly regimented schedule that involves strict discipline, physical training, and work;

(3) Participation by inmates in appropriate education, job training, and substance abuse counseling or treatment; and

(4) Post-incarceration aftercare services for participants that are coordinated with the program carried out during the period of imprisonment.