IHC Says No To Boot Camps


IHC New Zealand says the Government’s introduction of juvenile boot camps for youth offenders will unfairly target young people with intellectual disability.

In an announcement today, the Minister for Children Karen Chhour said a “military-style academy” run by Oranga Tamariki would be up and running from the middle of this year.

IHC Director of Advocacy Tania Thomas says it flies in the face of the preference of working with families and whānau to support the wellbeing of youth offenders – many of whom have an intellectual disability. Māori are also disproportionately affected.

“There is a growing body of evidence that boot camps may not be effective in reducing recidivism or achieving long-term positive outcomes for youth offenders,” says Tania. “They certainly should not be a stand-alone solution – what we need are comprehensive evidence-based interventions.

“Our data shows that intellectually disabled people are 1.5 times more likely to have a criminal conviction and 3.2 times more likely to be incarcerated.

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“We also know that intellectually disabled children are twice as likely to be exposed to family violence compared to other children and more likely to live in low-income families in deprived areas.

“We should be questioning how this overrepresented group got there in the first place and instead look at more appropriate supports to prevent it.

“A one-size-fits-all approach is the antithesis of the Enabling Good Lives approach, and youth offenders, particularly those with an intellectual disability, are better to have supports that are personalised to their specific needs.”



  1. They know nothing about children and young people.
    They know nothing about learning disabilities.
    They know nothing about personality disorders or psychology.
    They know nothing about who will man these bootcamps. It only takes one sadist to wreck the whole idea and then there’s the permanent damage they cause. We have examples of this already and it takes 50 years for them to admit there was a problem. The perpetrators are long gone and never answer for their crimes.

    They are hard as nails that ACT crowd, the survivors you could possibly say, of bad or difficult childhoods.
    They manage to function, but they aren’t quite right. They are damaged.
    I’ve never seen one of them smile properly. They smirk and grimace and pretend to look happy. But they are all as miserable as hell and want to make more of us miserable, so they don’t feel so odd.

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