Evaluation of Two Intensive Regimes for Young Offenders

David P. Farrington, University of Cambridge
Darrick Jolliffe, University of Cambridge
Kate A. Painter, Cambridge University

Intensive regimes including military elements were established at Thorn Cross Young Offender Institution in 1996 and at Colchester Military Corrective Training Centre in 1997. The Thorn Cross regime included Enhanced Thinking Skills training and employment assistance. This evaluation compared 175 young offenders who went to Thorn Cross with 127 controls who went to other institutions, and 61 young offenders who went to Colchester with 97 controls who went to other institutions. Predicted and actual reconviction rates were compared in a two-year follow-up period. The regimes had no effect on the percentage reconvicted. However, the Thorn Cross experimentals took longer to reoffend and committed significantly fewer crimes. The cost savings from the smaller number of crimes more than outweighed the extra costs of the Thorn Cross regime. However, this was not true for Colchester, because the Colchester experimentals committed more costly (violent) crimes.

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Updated 05/20/2006