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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 May 2007, 16:23 GMT 17:23 UK
Boot camp for youths could reopen
Youths
The SNP said Airborne was effective in targeting youth crime
A scrapped project for young offenders could be resurrected by the new Scottish Executive - three years after it was closed down.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill will meet the former trustees of the Airborne Initiative this week.

The initiative, which ran residential courses for repeat offenders aged between 18 and 25, closed in 2004.

The scheme, based at Braidwood House in Carluke, Lanarkshire, closed after the Scottish Executive withdrew funding.

The Nationalists had previously pledged to reopen the centre.

Mr MacAskill, the cabinet secretary for justice in the new SNP administration, is looking at how a revamped version of the project could be incorporated into the party's proposals to tackle young offenders.

Tackling reoffending requires a constructive approach and the trustees can be part of the solution
Kenny MacAskill
SNP justice spokesman
He said: "I want to look at how we can incorporate a new and improved Airborne into our overall approach, an 'Airborne Plus'."

Mr MacAskill has invited the project's trustees to a meeting because he believes that their experience and knowledge should "not go to waste".

He said: "Tackling reoffending requires a constructive approach and the trustees can be part of the solution.

"I hope this exploratory meeting will send out a message that we are open to new ideas - and will be followed by detailed meetings with justice officials over the coming months."

He added: "The previous scheme wasn't perfect, especially in the area of tackling underlying drug addiction problems.

"But it is about developing key elements of the initiative that got results and changing the behaviour of an especially difficult group of young men for the better."

The removal of 600,000 funding by the executive resulted in the closure of the project with the loss of 26 jobs.


SEE ALSO
SNP's boot camp pledge for youths
25 Aug 06 |  Glasgow and West
Call for rethink on youth project
24 Apr 05 |  Scotland
'Boot camp' rethink urged
26 Feb 04 |  Scotland
No rethink over 'boot camp'
23 Feb 04 |  Scotland
'Boot camp' closure attacked
15 Feb 04 |  Scotland
'Boot camp' shuts over funding
10 Feb 04 |  Scotland

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