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.