EDITORIAL: Putting boot into Govt's camp plans

B OOT camps have become all the rage.
First they provided fodder for reality TV.
Overweight Americans were put through their paces in front of our eyes.
This idea then morphed into the more competitive Biggest Loser format.
Instead of being yelled at in the great outdoors, the "losers" were put through their paces in the gym.
This new style of show presented endless viewer options.
Then the fitness industry followed suit, introducing boot camps to their timetables.
All of a sudden, gym junkies were rolling around in parks and on beaches before and after work. I am not a fan of either concept.
I refuse to watch boot camp-style programs for two reasons.
First, the teenagers in the American and British shows are simply so annoying I can't stand to watch. They treat their parents with utter contempt and whine about their lack of freedom.
Second, the New Zealand shows are so hardcore and confrontational.
Many of these kids just don't care about themselves or anyone else.
I believe this is the root of the problem and why the latest type of boot camp may fail.
The National Government is proposing a military-style boot camp for young offenders as part of its justice initiatives, which are being considered this week.
Other options include electronic tracking devices and harsher sentences.
The camps will be considered as a last chance for some offenders.
Labour has naturally criticised the camps and is reported as saying they will produce "better, faster criminals".
They mightn't change their ways, but they will change their body shape!
National says the rate of reoffending will be reduced by these measures.
I am happy to be proven wrong.
But once you put someone back in their environment, chances are they will revert back to previous behaviour due to family or peer pressure.
It's the same for the weight loss contestants.

More than 90 per cent stack the weight back on when they leave and return to their original weight within years.
Thumbs up: To Chris O'Connor, the owner of Hastings Gasworkz, who donated two days work to create the torch that will be carried during the Relay For Life.
Many of us have been touched by cancer and the relay is an important fundraiser.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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