Monday, February 16, 2009

Bootcamps the rage in New Zealand now...


Bootcamps the rage in New Zealand right now...

It appears the new rightwing National Party Government in New Zealand is pinning its whole social platform on a "bootcamp" approach to dealing with juvenile and youth crime. Not only that the NZ Army has been told it will be running these camps. Army spokesmen have previously indicated they oppose "bootcamps" run by the military.

They would prefer people who want to be involved in such training, not malcontent youths and young criminals. Such bootcamps overseas have had limited success over the years. What you get mainly out the other end are fit and healthy young criminals. At least 80% of these are recidivists within 12 months of leaving the bootcamps. Drug users and pushers would be back on the streets in no time at all.

You can't condemn such born again social reformists that exist in this new administration. Society has no option but to support the new government's policy. The told you so's can come later.

The government claims there will be an ongoing program after the bootcamps are completed. They aim to put the worst forty young criminals in the camps initially, followed by others of varying degrees of anti-social behaviour. A big job I would suggest!

Bootcamps are actually the ambulances at the bottom of the cliff. The real and most important work should occur years before. When young people become regular truants from school at the age of eleven or twelve you know where the problems are: They are the ones that social reformers should be concentrating on. They are the ones displaying a lack of discipline in their lives, are becoming rebellious at home and school. They are the ones in danger of going completely off the rails and becoming candidates for bootcamps a few years down the track.They are the ones the government should concentrate on first; that should be their first priority!

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