Letter: New recruits

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I am writing in response to your headline "Army is to recruit convicted criminals straight from jails", (8 November).

We will not recruit straight from jails but, following a request from the Prison Service, we do propose to conduct a trial for under-18s coming to the end of their sentences in young offenders' institutions, to see if we can give them the opportunity to make a new start in life. Of course, like any other young offender who at present can apply to join the Army under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, they will have to meet our rigorous recruitment standards.

Recruiting is buoyant, better than at any time in the past ten years, and we will continue to sustain our efforts to attract high-quality young people for rewarding and challenging careers in the Army.

Major General A M D PALMER

Director General, Army Training and Recruiting

Upavon, Wiltshire