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MAC Camp graduates stepping back onto the right path

MAC Camp graduates stepping back onto the right path

Associate Social Development Minister Chester Borrows has congratulated today’s graduates from the latest Military Style Activity Camp (MAC Camp) for young offenders.

“MAC Camps take young people with some of the worst criminal histories, who are on their last chance,” says Mr Borrows.

“Despite their offending, they’re still our kids, and we’re not giving up on them. They must take responsibility for their actions, but equally we – the community that raised them – must take responsibility for providing them with a future that takes them down a better path.

“MAC Camps give these young people the tools and support to deal with the many issues they face, and shows them how to approach life in a productive and law-abiding way.

“We do this not only for these young people, but for the communities they will continue to live in.”

Today’s graduation ceremony, for the nine participants of MAC Camp 15, was held at Te Puna Wai Youth Justice Residence in Christchurch.

“No one is under any illusion as to the huge challenge they face in trying to break away from a life of crime.

“Today’s graduation ceremony has given me the chance to speak to these young people, and see the hope and confidence the MAC Camp has instilled in them. It gives me great hope that many of them are now ready to make the significant changes in their lives they so urgently need to make,” says Mr Borrows.

He also pointed to results from previous MAC Camps, which show the positive effect the programme is having on participants.

“The results we see from MAC continue to be very positive, as Child Youth and Family and the Defence Force continuously improve the programme.

“Latest results show 79 per cent of graduates reduced the number of offences committed in the first twelve months after MAC, including 16 per cent who committed no further offences.

“It also shows that 81 per cent committed less serious offences after the MAC Camp, and that there was a 53 per cent reduction in violent offending by graduates.”

“Compared to where they started – with 100 per cent of them almost certainly heading for a life filled with crime, jail time, and creating more victims – these are positive results that tell me MAC Camps are making a real difference in the lives of some of our most serious and persistent young offenders,” says Mr Borrows.

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