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Wednesday, 9 October, 2002, 08:25 GMT 09:25 UK
Centre takes on youth crime rates
C-Far
The centre helps young men from the South West
One centre in Devon is successfully reducing youth crime rates.

The Centre for Adolescent Rehabilitation (C-Far) near Highampton, provides an intensive residential programme of 11 weeks.

Young men aged between 18 and 24 - called trainees - follow a tough programme of personal development and training which, the centre says, stops them reoffending.

C-Far says over the past two years it has halved the re-offending rate of its trainees.


I feel I can go on and do anything I want to now

Matt Bowes, trainee

Compared to the national rate - at present 75% - C-Far's graduates' rate is just over 30%.

Trainee Matt Bowes said he was currently working at an activity centre for disabled people while deciding what to do.

"C-Far drags the real person out of you," he said.

"It gives you the confidence and self-esteem to go on and make a better life for yourself.

"I feel I can go on and do anything I want to now."

The mastermind behind the centre, chief executive Trevor Philpott, an ex-Royal Marine, stresses the value of support and encouragement.

"The cost of the training here works out at 16,000 per person."

He says it is the follow-up support that helps trainees settle back into the community.

The cost of crime
In June 2002, the prison population was 71,400
The average cost of each male prisoner per annum is 37,500
By September 2003 the population is expected to reach 76,000
Individual prolific offenders cost society more than 100,000 per annum

The C-Far Life Change programme is a 14 hours a day, 7 days a week regime with an element of outdoor activities to encourage team spirit, bonding, leadership and general confidence.

Referrals come from regional prisons, youth offenders' institutes and courts.

Community support

Courses offered include anger management, community work, drugs and alcohol abuse, health, first aid, relationships, parenting, citizenship - as well as academic courses.

After the residential programme, trainees are given nine months support to get them back into the community.

Help with housing, further education, vocational training and employment all plays its part.

The centre says the learning experience is based upon "the philosophy of positive relationships and assertive discipline - consistency in boundaries, discipline, encouragement and care".

It believes that, since it was set up, it has saved the taxpayer around 5m.


Click here to go to Devon
See also:

04 Oct 02 | England
18 Sep 02 | Scotland
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