He has ignored the experience of boot camps in the USA. This was spelt out to him in 1994 by his own officials when, after a visit, they reported that "there is no basis for this type of approach in terms of reoffending ... we have tried this approach before with detention centres and abandoned it as a failure." This view was confirmed to me by Ronald Moscicki, Superintendent of the New York State Boot Camps, during my visit last summer when he told me: "Reducing recidivism is not a goal."
There is genuine public anger at the levels of youth crime. Our youth justice system is characterised by delays, inconsistencies and a failure to take swift action to prevent first-time offenders embarking on a life of crime. Hardening young offenders into persistent adult criminals is not the answer.
Jack Straw MP
Shadow Home Secretary
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