Kick boot camps to the curb

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, July 21st, 2011 - 22 comments
Categories: crime, law and "order" - Tags:

Boot camps are a failure. $36K per head. 15 of 17 in the first two groups have reoffended already. That’s a worse recividism rate than prison. Even on dubious assumptions that the other 2 would have reoffended without boot camp and actually haven’t, that’s $612,000 to stop 2 offenders. Time for National to admit failure and stop wasting our money.

22 comments on “Kick boot camps to the curb”

  1. mik e 1

    Its time to boot the boot campers out they tried to cover these figures up I talked to Nationals s

  2. Terry 2

    This government persists in the hopeless belief that for people to improve, they must have heaped on them punishment. punishment, and still more punishment. The words “reform” and “reformatory” have not entered their vocabulary, any more than has the word “compassion”. Punishment for its own sake, as anyone with first hand knowledge knows,
    creates more criminals and more devious criminals at that.

  3. Policy Parrot 3

    Re: OP

    I agree that boot camps are a waste of time, and even counterproductive in terms of releasing young dangerous people back into our communities – but to say it is a waste of money is a bit off to be honest.

    Something has to done about this problem, and that solution will cost money – just because National choose the wrong solution doesn’t make spending money on ways to cut recidivism a waste of money. Any alternatives to boot camps would also cost significant money – and rightly so – this is a big problem and can’t be dealt with in a half-arsed way.

    • Tigger 3.1

      National chose this solution ignoring the evidence that boot camps don’t have great success rates. Its like me buying a car knowing the engine was stuffed. It was a waste of money.

      • Ianupnorth 3.1.1

        Regrettably they (NACT) ignore the evidence on preventative health interventions, on the value of ECE education and on the failures of National Standards, but Joe Public all thought these were good ideas.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.2

        Depends what your actual objective is.

        If you wanted the car to get from A to B, then yeah, a dead engine isn’t much use. If you just wanted a car to sit in the drive way and impress the neighbours, then it might be money well spent. Of course, some of the neighbours will know that you’re just full of shit and the car doesn’t go, but the rest can be suckered… until they ask for you take them out for a spin and you can’t.

        Wow, car analogies sometimes fit quite well.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      National cut successful programs to bring in their boot camps when everyone told them that the boot camps wouldn’t work.

    • mik e 3.3

      Canterbury university has being researching this problem for many years and has been trial running a program to help dysfunctional families with a70% success rate, no govt wants to run with it. Its run by the social sciences dept.

  4. Peter 4

    Boot camps are another example of how National are driven by focus poll populism and not research. As Mr. Key says you can always find someone to tell you what you want, to confirm your prejudices, while ignoring expert advice which has always said such camps would not work.

  5. seanmaitland 5

    These results were from the trial bootcamps that were used to workout how things should be setup. No results have come back from the actual bootcamps that have run since yet. That is, none of the follow up/rehabilitation programs were in place for the kids on these two trial bootcamps – whereas it is now in place on the “actual” bootcamps.

    In other words, this is a total stitch up, some idiot reporter wanting to get some column inches…..

    Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story and all…..

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      If these were trials then I’d expect, from the atrocious results, that full implementation would not occur as the “trials” show that they just don’t work.

      Or, in other words sean, you’re talking out your arse again.

  6. bbfloyd 6

    don’t let reality get in the way of your key worship sean.

  7. deemac 7

    curb? kerb! KERB!!
    for pity’s sake…

    • Morrissey 7.1

      curb? kerb! KERB!!
      for pity’s sake…

      Good to see someone is on the ball. Well done, deemac.

  8. prism 8

    The thing is that most of these problem types are in the habit of breaking laws. It may be that boot camp has changed their offending so it’s only speeding at 120km in 100km zone etc instead of 150km, or driving their own car without a WOF. Lower level recidivism would definitely be a worthwhile outcome. But those assessing the value of programs are often simplistic, unrealistic and impatient with the troublemakers. Believers in fairy godmothers and magic wands like.

    However on the other hand, I think someone said about British boot camps was that they produced a better, fitter type of crim. And that is probably the case, you can’t change the ingrained synapses of 15 years in 15 weeks. But it is worthwhile and right to make an effort though, to make a start with future planning, personal goal and standard setting and success-oriented activities.

    • Too right, especially when you return those attending the boot camps back into environments where criminal activity is the norm.

      Today I saw a kid aged about 10 with a red baseball cap with the letters M M M on the front. he didn’t appreciate it when I said “are you a dickhead, do you want to end up in prison”, in fact he nearly cried.

  9. Reality Bytes 9

    Good article, but I might somewhat disagree with some of the responses here. Slightly 🙂

    I agree it sucks the attitude that precious money/funds could have been spent elsewhere, the 600k figures quoted are quite ridiculous.

    But I think programs like this that seek to encourage mature thinking and discipline is a good call. I agree with this sort of program in principle, I just hope it can done in an economical non-gravy-train way, that can be extended positively to other situations.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      The camps completely misunderstand what is needed to make a difference in these youths’ lives.

      The programme might “seek to ensure mature thinking and discipline” but are a total failure at doing just that.

      So, who knows where they went wrong, and what needs to be changed, in order that more money, time and lives are not wasted?

      • Reality Bytes 9.1.1

        Agreed, they are a failure in this format, but I don’t think that’s a reason to give up on such programs. They need better leadership.

  10. The failure of boot camps; the growing abuse of alcohol in this country; the increasing misery and hopelessness of an alienated underclass in NZ… there seems to be a fatalistic acceptance of it at the very top of the Beehive.

    My analysis; http://fmacskasy.blogspot.com/p/health-education-other-social-services.html

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      In the old days the unions organised the underclass. Politicised them. organised them and taught them how to fight the system.

      And today…who will do the same?

      The fatalistic acceptance is not only at the top, my friend.

      • “In the old days the unions organised the underclass. Politicised them. organised them and taught them how to fight the system.”

        Indeed, ‘Viper. That thought was running throyugh my mind a few days ago, as I watched picketing Kiwirail workers watching the new rolling stock from China being unloaded. The trucks drove right passed them.

        Only 25 years ago, the trucks would not have been permitted to cross the picket lines.

        George Orwell may have been correct about the working class being unable to challenge the power of the establishment.

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