Boot camp for criminals kick-started
4:00AM Monday Feb 16, 2009
By Patrick Gower

The Government's plans for military-style "boot camps" for the worst young criminals will be kick-started today when Prime Minister John Key announces that the legislation will be introduced to Parliament.

The policy is a favourite of Mr Key, who raised it in his state of the nation speech a year ago, and the bill will get its first reading later in the week as part of National's 100-day plan.

It includes the Fresh Start programme - lasting 12 months, including up to three months in boot camp - and the doubling of youth court sentences.

It will also extend the Youth Court's jurisdiction so it can deal with those aged 12 and 13 accused of serious offences.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has previously said some of the changes will not be available until next year, to allow time to set up the programmes, or have the space in residential centres to house those sentenced.

Other measures - including greater use by the Youth Court of orders for alcohol and drug rehabilitation, mentoring and parenting courses - would be available sooner as no law change was required.

More here.