TV viewers tuning into ITV at 9pm tonight will once again be greeted by the fantastic sight of Ford Castle in north Northumberland as borstal bad boys are set to help out at the local village show.
It’s episode three of four in the documentary series Bring Back Borstal, filmed in the picturesque setting last year.
In a unique experiment, 14 young troublemakers, half of whom have criminal convictions, have volunteered to become borstal boys, spending four weeks in a castle in Northumberland to bring the borstal back to life. Between them they have around 60 criminal convictions and many have served time in prison.
In the third week of the experiment, the Governor asks the lads to think about their life after Borstal and requires them to learn a trade skill.
But before they even get started last week’s lad-of-the-week, ex-London rioter Scott Valero, has a falling-out with the Governor. Jack Burniston takes exception to being asked to shave and Craig and Ben Kearney, after two weeks of lashing out at the other lads, turn their sights on each other.
With ill-discipline rife, visits from loved ones at home have positive effects on some, but prove difficult for other lads.
Working in the community and helping out at the village show yields surprising results and the Governor is left with a big decision to make.
Borstal in the 1930s was a much-feared institution designed to reform young offenders by enforcing compulsory work, education, discipline and intense physical activity.
In its heyday, it was a system that worked, with low levels of re-offending and a low financial cost. Today, nearly three-quarters of young offenders released from prison reoffend within 12 months.
The series aired its first episode on Thursday, January 8, and it is available on ITV Player until the first week of February.
Last week, the nine remaining had to learn to take responsibility for cooking, laundry and washing duties.