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Boot camps yet another Key failure

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, February 15th, 2011 - 36 comments
Categories: crime, john key - Tags: , ,

Key has failed on the economy, failed on closing the gaps with Australia, failed on creating jobs, failed on reducing crime, failed on reducing beneficiary numbers, and failed on keeping various (no increase to GST!) election promises. Now we have confirmation of the failure of yet another flagship election promise, boot camps.

Boot camps were the central plank of the Nats’ “Youth Plan”. Key told us that they would “fight a growing youth crime wave and ensure young people get into education or training” and “defuse these unexploded human time-bombs”. Key was warned (and warned and warned and warned) that boot camps don’t work. But the Nats were determined to carry on regardless. Even when roundly “booed” by his audience Key plaintively insisted that “they actually do work”.

Well, the facts are now in and — surprise! — no they don’t.

Just four days ago the government was trying to keep the results of the first boot camp cohort secret. Seems that didn’t go down too well, because the figures have since been released in a report from the Minister of Social Development’s office. They show that bootcamp graduates have a 50% reoffending rate within just the first year. Furthermore:

“If that report is correct, then the reoffending rate is likely to be in the order of 65 – 70% after two years of course completion. That means that the course will have made very little difference for most, and will have increased the likelihood of offending for some.

“The Ministry of Social Development staff should not be blamed for the poor outcome. The programme design was forced on them by those who knew that the measure would have popular public support.

Well, that’s what happens when you ignore the advice of every available expert and let prejudice and hubris write your policy for you. Add it to the ever growing list of Key’s failures.

36 comments on “Boot camps yet another Key failure”

  1. Roadcone 1

    All these camps will ever produce is fitter,and physicaly stronger crims sadly.
    the aim of any rehab has to be in the homes and from a very early age

  2. Zetetic 2

    So. Boot camp is less effective than home detention.

    “overall reconviction rate of offenders who started Supervision, Community Work and Front-end Home Detention was 58% over five years.”

    http://corrections.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/439025/Reconviction_Report_2009_Community_Sentences.pdf

    anti-spam: statistic

    • lyndon 2.1

      Title page: “A 60-months follow-up analysis”

      As oppossed to people who graduateded last year, which implies an average of less. If you think of the reoffending rate as something like an atomic half-life, you’ll appreciate there’s a difference.

      OTOH, with serious offenders reoffending is very likely – the seriousness is also important in deciding if your intervention has worked.

      Calculating the actual effect it’s had on risk is a difficult job that does need more information. (I have an OIA says as of November they hadn’t signed off on a monitoring or assessment framework, so I don’t think it can be done.)

  3. higherstandard 3

    Did you read the report ? – the closing remark from the authors.

    “Offenders who commence their offending careers during their teenage years are considerably more likely to become persistent offenders. This study has established a very strong (inverse) correlation between age of first conviction and reconviction. Interventions with youth offenders are thus an important priority and, to the extent to which they are effective, have significant “down-stream” benefits.”

    • And your point is HS?

      The conclusion says that early intervention is important. Boot camps are at the end of the line. They are only for the really hard core offenders. If you want to do something about crime then you have to intervene earlier in a more therapeutic manner. Better to deal with their problems at the age of 13 or 14, and way better at the age of 2 when it is already predictable which kids will get into trouble.

      BUT, and this is the bit you will hate, it costs money. You save money in the long run, a couple of thousand now is better than a hundred thousand a year later on for a cell but tories tend to cut budgets because there is a short term gain that appears in the next year’s budget.

      The other problem with youth camps is they do this regimented penalty and then go home to the same old problems, poverty, drugs, marginalisation, booze.

      This policy always was a PR job. It does not change a thing. It was utterly predictable that the policy would fail.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.2

      Its pyscho babble . Your point is ?

      • lyndon 3.2.1

        The quote from the report? Um, it’s hard statistics. If you can’t tell the difference perhaps you should leave the conversation to the grownups.

        The point is youth interventions are important and you need to concentrate on things you can show reduce reoffending rather than, for example, things that have previously been shown not to.

  4. Hilary 4

    While that multi-systemic residential programme for young offenders, Te Hurihanga, set up by Judge Henwood and others and which has had no reoffending, has been cancelled (and the government falsely conflated set up costs with intervention costs as an excuse). I hear that the Court report interview with Judge Henwood is replaying on TV7 on Thursday night at 9.30 where she explains how it worked.

    • Good point.

      Judge Henwood’s programme was expensive but very successful.

      The nats needed a photo opportunity though and did not want to spend any more money. So just as they have in a number of other areas they cancelled a perfectly good programme and replaced it with a photo op and a programme that pushed all of the PR buttons but which was going to fail.

    • M 4.2

      Hilary, thanks for the heads up on the programme – sounds like a must see.

  5. Roger 5

    “Well, that’s what happens when you ignore the advice of every available expert and let prejudice and hubris write your policy for you.”

    We are well and truly done for then. This is the same policy approach that is being used for primary education (National Standards) and welfare. What will happen when these kids working under national standards get to 15-18 years old and have poorer educational outcomes and the welfare system treats them as the enemy? They will turn to crime. Then what? Bigger bootcamps?

  6. JS 6

    To address the complex issues of offending you need expensive stuff such as people and mentors to work across all the areas of the young person’s life and with their family too. Have education and employment skills training too. Build trust and all that expensive stuff. But if it works it saves so much money on no reoffending. Simple. Boot camps don’t work but make great photo opportunities.

  7. ianmac 7

    There used to be residential facilities like the one outside Levin. Kohitere and Hokio Beach? Boys were sent there by the Courts for months and in excellent facilities fed, exercised, educated. Then when their sentence ended they went back to their original environment – and carried on reoffending. So the units were closed down in the 80s as they were not considered cost-effective except while the boys were there. (It was rumoured that the boys liked it so much that some absconded near the end of their sentence, stole cars and were sent back for more time, which is what they wanted!)
    The answer? While the poverty, poor education outcomes, unemployment, bad company exist, it needs much more than Boot camps or Kohitere so………

    • kriswgtn 7.1

      actually Kohitere wasnt exactly the holiday you described
      my older brother was there- educated? hahahahahha what a joke- 3 weeks schoolin and then @ the age of 14 he was made to work in the forest overlooking levin for 18 months – learning to prune?? more like slave labour and this was common in that place
      But he never reoffended again after Kohitere

      and as for the place being liked- hahah another joke

      My brother is @ the mom in the process of taking CYFS to court along with hundreds of others because of the inhumane treatment they got
      the beatings from staff and other **inmates**

      • ianmac 7.1.1

        I did not describe it as a holiday. Like the Boot Camp, inmates were subjected to order and discipline and some sort of work experience, in very good facilities for many months even years. Full indoor pool, gymnasium, good basic food. I did not hear of any “mistreatment” but it may have happened.
        I thought that my main point was that even with the best of intentions and all the gears, Camps or Kohitere style appears to not the means by which people are “saved.” So what would work?

        • ianmac 7.1.1.1

          Your older brother must be quite old now kriswgtn?

          • kriswgtn 7.1.1.1.1

            hes 46

            He told us only a couple of years ago what he went through while there

            beatings and raped – they had nightly **kangaroo courts** which were stompings and staff apparently did nothing to stop it

            Guess it worked though,he never re offended after he was discharged in 1980

            and he was ward of the state until he was 21,which meant if he had of re offended he would have been sent back

            Now hes married has a good job etc etc

            But he came home a hard ass, alot harder than before he was sent there.

            • ianmac 7.1.1.1.1.1

              No one would wish such a hard cruel experience on youth but great that your brother has survived. Congratulations brother.

              • kriswgtn

                :) I’ll pass it on to him when I see him next

                My thoughts on such places is that they dont work- they network and most go onto harder crimes

                Something needs to be done re the youth of today- WORK /jobs not boot camp

                Maybe the hope of a future?
                They sure as hell aint getting it from Nacts

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    John Key pushes successful young NZ’ers into Australian jobs.

    He pushes struggling young NZ’ers into the meat grinder.

    • Tel 8.1

      💡 …and once he’s finished with the meat grinder, it’ll be sold off to a private company for a song, so they can grind up the NZ’ers left over.

  9. marsman 9

    John Key is a failure.

  10. Bright Red 10

    according to Budget 2010, the Fresh Start programme spent $8.6 million last year and is budgeted for $22 million this year.

    How many kids are going through this programme and how is it cheaper than those programmes they closed, especially given it has failed to reduce offending?

  11. randal 11

    of course boot camps are a failure.
    just another example of kiwis thinking that there thoughts a re facts and the deisre to get the CONTRACT.
    money honey.
    all the promoters of these affairs think that because they say boot camps are going to work then they will.
    national is the party of business (so they say).
    let the market discipline these people.

  12. M 12

    Love the photo of John Key, classic body language for a child who’s just told a lie.

  13. tc 13

    Another fail but you gotta love that consistency where they ” ignore the advice of every available expert and let prejudice and hubris write your policy for you….” across the board and then stand back looking to spin it as not their fault….tui’s leadership.

    Sideshow John and his beehive dealing room are not competant or mature enough to accept responsibility for any of their wrecking ball policies so it’s important their colaition partner the MP standing up for…..oh hang on….mmmm, when’s the next pane to Oz leave.

  14. JS 14

    Kriswgtn – has your brother contacted the Confidential and Listening Service? It is also run by Judge Henwood and is for people in state care who have been the subjects of abuse (before 1992). It’s to tell their stories and be listened to respectfully. Not sure what else but that is a start.

    • kriswgtn 14.1

      I dont think he would be interested.

      He is involved in a class action suit along with hundreds of others
      although Chris Findlayson has been doing his upmost to stop it ie
      making sure their legal aid applications get declined
      my brother however doesnt have legal aid

      He is paying his own way through court

      As he continually says its closure only when he has his day in court

      I think he needs to do this and should have done it years ago because he has had to carry this around with him since end of 1979 and he only started this 18 months ago or so

      I would like my brother back not the angry frustrated man that is he at the moment

      • pollywog 14.1.1

        Yeah that whole angry frustrated thing sucks. My oldest bro is a woulda, coulda, shoulda been if only shit hadn’t happened blah blah blah…

        I keep telling him, comes a time when you got a man up and take responsibility for your life, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and he’s like “yeah yeah yeah but…”

        *sigh*

        he’s 46 too

  15. seeker 15

    @ ian mac 9.48am “Camps or Kohitere style appears to not be the means by which people are “saved.” So what would work?”

    This type of thing:

    @JS8.51am
    “To address the complex issues of offending you need expensive stuff such as people and mentors to work across all the areas of the young person’s life and with their family too. Have education and employment skills training too. Build trust and all that expensive stuff. But if it works it saves so much money on no reoffending. Simple. Boot camps don’t work but make great photo opportunities.”

    “Trust” being the operative word here.” Billy Graham in Naenae and some other do great work with youth and are trusted by them.This approach is more like ‘re-booting’ as opposed to ‘boot camp’. All children need to experience trust if they are to be trusted themselves, rather than being given the life draining experience of continually being let down by the inadequate adults in their life.Everyone is deserving of a helping hand at some time or another – especially our youngsters.

    Shame on Key for being so pig headed with his inadequate ‘boot camp’ answer to the needs of our troubled youth. Another group of young people have probably been lost, and they/we only have one life. What a waste.
    Reply

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    If Steven Joyce wants to revive his failing export growth target he needs to make sure the Government gets to grips with the housing crisis, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Our exporters are struggling to compete… ...
    4 days ago
  • Gallipoli’s lesson: never forget, never repeat
     A special monument to one of our greatest war heroes should be a priority for the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “This will honour the spirit of Lieutenant Colonel William Malone, who led 760… ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister for who? Women, or Team Key?
    Louise Upston yesterday broke her silence on John Key’s repeated unwanted touching of a woman who works at his local café, to jump to the defence of her Boss. Upston repeated Key’s apology but, according to media reports “she refused… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Taxpayer bucks backing US billionaire
    Kiwis will be horrified to know they are backing a Team Oracle subsidiary owned by a US billionaire, Labour’s Sports and Recreation spokesperson Trevor Mallard says. It has been revealed today that a Warkworth boat building company, which is wholly… ...
    5 days ago
  • English’s sins of omission: ‘Nothing left to be done’ on housing
    When Bill English said ‘there is nothing left to be done’ on the Auckland housing crisis he had overlooked a few things – a few things, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.  “He’s right if you ignore: ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate change now hurts Kiwis
    Kiwis have twice been given timely and grave warnings on how climate change will hit them in their hip pockets this week, says Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The first is the closure of the Sanford mussel plant and the… ...
    5 days ago
  • Clean, green and chocolate!
    Like many people I absolutely love chocolate! But until recently I hadn’t given much thought to how it was grown and produced. Fair trade and ethical food production are core Green Party principles, so yesterday Steffan Browning and I were… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    6 days ago
  • National admits loan shark law not up to it
    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    6 days ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    6 days ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    6 days ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    7 days ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    7 days ago
  • Cabinet paper reveals weak case for Iraq deployment
    A heavily redacted copy of a Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq reveals how weak the case is for military involvement in that conflict, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  The paper warns that given the failure… ...
    7 days ago
  • Malaysia’s booty is Kiwis’ lost homeownership dream
    It’s unsurprising the Auckland property market is so overheated when Malaysians are being told they can live large on Kiwi’s hard-earned rent money, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “A Malaysian property website lists nearly 4000 New Zealand houses and… ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministry’s food safety resources slashed to the bone
    The Ministry for Primary Industries’ failure to monitor toxic and illegal chemicals in red meat is a dereliction of duty, Labour’s Primary Industries and Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI compliance officer Gary Orr today admitted National’s much-vaunted super… ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    1 week ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    1 week ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    2 weeks ago

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