Armed Forces: Military Corrective Training Centre — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:16 am on 25th July 2012.

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Photo of Lord Ramsbotham Lord Ramsbotham Crossbench 11:16 am, 25th July 2012

My Lords, I declare two interests: one as adjutant-general, when I was responsible for the MCTC, and one as Chief Inspector of Prisons. I visited the centre when the noble Lord, Lord Howard of Lympne, sent young offenders there under the mistaken impression that it was a boot camp. In fact the experience of being in a disciplined environment, particularly in the way that they were treated by staff, was wholly positive for those young offenders sent there. Is consideration being given to sending young offenders to the MCTC as part of their sentence, particularly if they want to join the Armed Forces and their level of criminality is not great? Armed with the experience there, they are more likely to have a proper career when they join the regular services after that. If they misbehave, they can of course always be sent straight back to custody.