Bring Back Borstal is a four part television series currently being shown on ITV. It is narrated by Matthew Macfadyen.
Bring Back Borstal aims to explore the impact on today’s young offenders aged 18-23 of this country's 1930s Borstal regime. By bringing history to life, it will ask if today’s young offenders can cope with tough, physical demands and if the punishment would deter them from crime. Or should borstal remain a thing of the past?
Today, reoffending rates among young adults are at an all-time high of nearly 60 per cent and nearer 73 per cent for (up to) 18 year olds and putting a young criminal through a Young Offender Institution costs as much as it does to send a boy to a leading public school. The reoffending rate for 1930s Borstal leavers was just 30 per cent.
Filming at close quarters throughout their month long stay ‘inside’, the Bring Back Borstal? format will show how 21stcentury young men who have led troubled lives are affected by a system long since consigned to history, which swaps today’s ‘lock-down’ regime for a busy schedule of ‘physical and purposeful activity’. Each ‘inmate’ will be immersed in a system modelled on the ideals and regime of a 1930s borstal, which draws on government-issued rulebooks and as well as the guidance of experts.
Reviews for the first episode appear on The Telegraph
and The Guardian
. More information about the series can be found on ITV
. You can watch the first episode if you are in the UK on ITV
(A huge thank you to Jane for the find!)