Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Boot Camps no more than "Correctional Quackery"

Boot Camps nothing more than "Correctional Quackery"

The military style " Fresh Start" programme is a boot camp "add-on" and unlikely to work. That's the view of Kim Workman, Project Director, Rethinking Crime and Punishment.

"Boot camps and their variants are known in the profession as "correctional quackery" - they satisfy the desire to punish, but fail to produce a result."

"New Zealand set up its first "boot camps" in 1971, with the introduction of Detention Centres. They were abandoned in 1981 and replaced with corrective training. Both were classic in-prison programs that resembled military basic training. In 1983, a Department of Justice study found that 71% of corrective trainees were reconvicted within the first year of release. The number of USA bootcamps reduced by a third between 1995 and 2000, because they didn't work. The most recent of many reviews into the efficacy of boot camps, confirms earlier research - they have no positive impact on offenders, and often result in an increase in recidivism."

"The idea of sandwiching the military experience in between mentoring, behavioural intervention, and aftercare is not new. Known as "second generation" bootcamps in the USA, they also failed. The problem is that a top-down, militaristic regime is in direct opposition to the type of relationships and supportive conditions that are needed for quality therapeutic programs. The confrontational nature of boot camps works against the environment necessary to bring about behavioural change."

"The government promised it would consult with experts on youth rehabilitation, when designing 'Fresh Start'. It should take a closer look at programmes like that run by Dr Ian Lambie and shown on the TV One programme "The Outsiders". That programme showed what could be done when there is a proven therapeutic model in place, overseen by people who know what they are doing. Such programmes aim to inspire young offenders to put direction and purpose into their lives, to identify future goals and pledge their commitment to achieving them. As Dr Ian Lambie makes it clear, this is not boot camp or is it a military-type experience. What the programme showed was that young offenders are redeemable, have great potential and deserve our attention and care.

It's time to move away from 'boot camps' and military intervention. It's time to stop appealing to our desire for retribution. The criminal justice system has clear limits to its effectiveness. Let's do the stuff that works.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Gordon Campbell: On John Key’s Trip To Iraq

In the embedded press coverage on this trip, the absence so far of any evaluation of the wider context of what New Zealand thinks it is doing at Camp Taji has been striking. More>>


Labour: Parata Puts Brakes On Charter School Appraisal

“When the Ministry of Education recommended they compare the achievements of children at charter schools to those of their counterparts at state schools, the documents show Hekia Parata specifically prohibited them from doing so." More>>


Bad Day For Universities: Gun, Bomb Threats On Three Campuses

Dunedin Police are continuing their investigation into the threat made against the University of Otago. Staff are following a number of lines of inquiry, and police are working to verify the authenticity and source of the post. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Deal Reached In Atlanta

Yes, the TPP has helped to knock a few points off the tariffs facing our exporters. Yet some of those alleged dollar gains may well have been made regardless over time – and without the negative baggage of the concessions in the non-trade areas (intellectual property, copyright extensions, investor-state dispute mechanisms etc) that the TPP deal also brings in its wake. More>> (Cartoon by Dave Wolland)

Public Summaries:


Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Pre-Signing: Gordon Campbell On The TPP Countdown

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news