Tory PCC proposes "boot camps" for problem families

(18 November 2013)The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Northamptonshire, Adam Simmonds has suggested that families who live on benefits without trying to get a job – or who live off the proceeds of petty crime – should be sent to “boot camps” to help them turn their lives around.

Mr Simmonds is suggesting that disused army barracks could be turned into housing for “feckless families”, who would undergo an intensive programme to teach them basic household and employment skills. Problem families would also be encouraged to give up smoking and excessive alcohol to help rehabilitate them back into mainstream society.

Mr Simmonds revealed to The Mail on Sunday that in Northamptonshire just 10 families are responsible for most of the burglaries committed.

He said that breaking the cycle and “poverty of ambition” were crucial to helping such families – and added that helping them turn their lives around would be cheaper than sending “career criminals” to prison and having to take their children into care.

The unemployment/reoffending cycle for some families costs Britain £40,000 annually for every prisoner and £140,000 for every child taken into care, the Mail report revealed.

Mr Simmonds said:

“We’ve got to be more radical than sending social workers to get mum and dad out of bed – sending them to prison hasn’t worked, so what else do you do?”

The proposals would involve problem families spending two years on an intensive training programme at converted army barracks.

Expert on the criminal justice system Harry Fletcher told the Mail, however, that the plans might be difficult to administer – and may even contravene the Human Rights Act.

Original article can be found here: http://www.duncanlewis.co.uk

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