Shock Incarceration Act Exposed

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The Shock Incarceration Act is listed under ALEC's Public Safety and Elections Task Force and was included in the 1995 ALEC Sourcebook of American State Legislation. ALEC has attempted to distance itself from this piece of legislation after the launch of in 2011, but it has done nothing to get it repealed in the states where it previously pushed for it to be made into law.

ALEC Bill Text


This Act would allow courts the option of sentencing offenders who have not committed specified violent offenses, have never previously served time in an incarceration facility, and who are aged 17 to 25 to a 120-day sentence in a military-style boot camp. Consent of the participant would be required. The Act would also establish requirements of participants in the program and would stipulate the conditions that would result in expulsion. Participants expelled from the program would be required to serve their term of incarceration.

Model Legislation

{Title, enacting clause, etc.}

Section 1. {Title.}

This Act may be cited as the Shock Incarceration Act.

Section 2. {Definitions.}

(A) "Department" means the department of corrections.

(B) "Unit" means a shock incarceration unit.

Section 3. {Administration of the shock incarceration program.}

(A) In addition to any other terms or conditions of sentencing provided for under (state chapter), the court may require that a person convicted of a crime for which a sentence in a state correctional facility may be imposed, except a crime specified in Subsection (D) of Section 4 of this Act, satisfactorily complete a program of incarceration in a shock incarceration unit in place of such a sentence.

(B) The department shall establish alternative incarceration units for the purpose of housing and training probationers eligible for shock incarceration.

(C) A person who is placed in a unit by the court shall be transported by the county sheriff directly to the unit and shall not be processed through the department's reception center for prisoners. The department may transfer an individual from one unit to another unit at the department's discretion during the person's incarceration in the unit.

(D) In every case in which a person is placed in a shock incarceration unit, the clerk of the sentencing court shall, within five working days after the placement, mail to the department of corrections a certified copy of the judgment of sentence and the investigation report of the person being placed.

(E) The unit shall provide a program of physically strenuous work and exercise patterned after military basic training, enrollment in a drug treatment program, and other programming as determined by the department and approved by the commission of corrections. The term of incarceration shall not exceed 120 days.

Section 4. {Qualifications for participation.}

(A) In order for a person to be placed in a shock incarceration program, the person shall meet all of the following requirements:

(1) the person is not less than 17 years of age nor more than 25 years of age at the time of sentencing;
(2) the person has never served a sentence of imprisonment in a state correctional facility nor previously served a sentence in a boot camp unit;
(3) the person is physically able to participate in the boot camp program;
(4) the person does not appear to have any mental handicap that would prevent participation in the boot camp program.

(B) Before a court can place a person pursuant to this Act, an initial investigation shall be completed by the probation officer. The initial investigation shall establish that the person meets the requirements of Subsection (A) of this section.

(C) A person shall not be placed in a program unless the person consents to the placement.

(D) A person who is convicted of the following crimes shall not be eligible for shock incarceration:

(1) [list appropriate
(2) state chapter].

Section 5. {Completion of the program.}

(A) At any time during a participant's incarceration in a unit, but not less than five days before the participant's expected date of release, the department shall certify to the sentencing court as to whether the participant has satisfactorily completed the course of training at the unit.

(B) Upon receiving a satisfactory report of performance in the program from the department of corrections, the court shall authorize the release of the person from confinement in the boot camp unit. However, a person shall not be placed in a unit for more than 120 days.

Section 6. {Expulsion from the program.}

(A) A participant who fails to work diligently and productively at the program of the unit, or who fails to obey the rules of behavior established for the unit, may be reported to the sentencing court for possible revocation from the program and may be housed in a county jail while awaiting a program revocation determination.

(B) A participant who is expelled following a sentencing court determination against him must immediately be sent to a state correctional facility to serve his full incarceration sentence.

Section 7. {Severability clause.}

Section 8. {Repealer clause.}

Section 9. {Effective date.}

ALEC's Sourcebook of American State Legislation 1995