Militaristic boot camps don't work

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The Independent Online
NICK COHEN quotes from a Prison Service study which concluded that US "boot camps" did not reduce reoffending, save money or reduce prison overcrowding ("Must we copy everything American?", 19 March).

There is another striking conclusion reached by recent American research concerning the varying reconviction rates of different boot camps. The most militaristic camps with the least focus on rehabilitation had the highest reoffending rates, while those which devoted more time to education, counselling and drug treatment had less recidivism. The researchers concluded that the quasi-military aspects of boot camps made no contribution to preventing reoffending but that rehabilitative programmes could help to do so.

This is the exact opposite of the view propounded by this country's most vocal advocates.

Paul Cavadino

Penal Affairs Consortium

London SW9

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