Dr. Cheryl L. Clark (born April 28, 1944) is the founder and retired director of Shock Incarceration and the Willard Drug Treatment Campus (WDTC) for the New York State Department of Correctional Services (NYS DOCS).
Shock Incarceration is an innovative, six-month program for non-violent offenders serving their first term of state incarceration and is the leading program of its type in the world. Founded in September 1987, the New York Shock Program differs from other "boot camp" style programs, with its emphasis on self-discipline, life-skills and treatment. Shock is a total institutional program, meaning everyone who is incarcerated or works in the facilities receives specialized training in accelerated learning techniques. It is estimated that the program has saved the taxpayers of New York State more than $1.3 billion since its inception, due to the program's public safety record, early release options and the participants' low rate of recidivism. As of 2009, 39,000 inmates entered the program. Notable graduates include rapper 50 Cent, who attended the Monterey Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility in Beaver Dams, NY.
In 2001, Dr. Clark earned a Ph.D. in the School of Health and Human Services at Columbia Commonwealth University after obtaining a master's degree in Educational Psychology from the College of St. Rose in Albany, NY. Along with her university education, she has studied accelerated learning and transformation technologies for more than 30 years. Her doctoral dissertation, "12° Of Freedom: Synergetics and the 12 Steps to Recovery", includes a comprehensive overview of the model she named Social Synergetics™, offering an innovative, fully integrated model for transformation and recovery from addictions.
Dr. Clark began her tenure in criminal justice in 1974, where she was named Director of Training for the Commission of Corrections (COC), and later promoted to Director of Operations. While at the COC, Dr. Clark designed and developed the Network Program, the first Total Learning Environment (TLE™) in a correctional facility. The Network Program was implemented in 1979 in four correctional facilities, and eventually grew to 31 units in 29 facilitates by 1985. A few of the Network Program units still remain in operation, one since 1981, at the maximum security Clinton Correctional Facility, in Dannemora, New York.
In 1985, Dr. Clark was appointed Director of Staff Development for the NYS Division of Parole, to assist with the implementation of the Division's Regional management system. She developed supervisory, management and leadership training programs for the Division and was charged with streamlining and improving training programs for all levels of parole staff, including the design and implementation of a Street Survival Course for Parole Officers in New York State.
Development of the Shock Program
In 1987, Dr. Clark was asked to return to DOCS to develop the Shock Incarceration program. Shock was to be a 6-month program that would prepare young, non-violent felony offenders for early parole release consideration. The program was to be based in the TLE™ model developed by Dr. Clark for the Network Program, and would operate in specially designed facilities, providing a schedule of rigorous physical activity, military discipline and regimentation, general education, life-skills and intensive substance abuse treatment.
In 1987, the first Shock program opened in Monterey Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility (SICF), near Corning, NY. It was followed by the opening of Summit SICF in March 1988, Moriah SICF in February 1989 and Lakeview SICF, the largest such facility to operate in this model, in August 1989. Both men and women participated in the program, with the first women beginning in June 1988.
In 1995 Dr. Clark was asked to design the Willard Drug Treatment Campus (DTC) and expand Shock staff training to include all staff of the DTC. The Willard is a stand-alone drug-treatment campus and was created from the Sentencing Reform Act (SRA) of 1995, and was aimed to divert second felony offenders with substance abuse problems from NYS DOCS incarceration. Based in both military and Network community models, Shock Incarceration and the DTC have an equal emphasis on self-discipline, treatment and life skills education.
Dr. Clark continues her work with Social Synergetics™. She is a very active member of Jack Canfield's International Transformational Leadership Council.
- DOING LIFE!® A Program For Recovery From Addictions (with Mary Bogan and Lisa Matheson) http://www.doinglife.com/lifeworkbook.html
- S.M.A.R.T. Choices - A Guide For Making Choices That Work! (with Lisa Matheson) http://www.doinglife.com/smartworkbook.html
- 1990 "Governor's Award for Productivity", State of New York
- 2009 "Excellence in Leadership Award" from the Transformational Leadership Council
- 2010 Isaac Hopper Award for outstanding service to corrections services, Women's Prison Association