Young Men To Undergo 1930's Borstal Regime For New ITV Series

Young men to undergo 1930's Borstal regime for new ITV series

ITV has commissioned a major new four part series Bring Back Borstal? [WT] to be broadcast in 2015.

The 4x60 formatted series will be produced by Wall to Wall, the company behind ITV’s hit show Long Lost Family, and 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.

A leading criminologist and former prison governor will act as an advisor for the series, which goes into production later this year.

Wall To Wall are now seeking young men aged 18-23 to contact them at

ITV’s Controller of Factual Jo Clinton-Davis said: “It's terrific to be working with WTW on a such an exciting and entertaining series that will ask whether a 1930s borstal could ever have a place in modern Britain.”

Leanne Klein, CEO of Wall to Wall Media said: “Bring Back Borstal is rooted in history but aims to tackle how we deal with one of the biggest problems we face today – youth crime. The series has scale and ambition and it’s fantastic to be working on it with ITV.”

The series was commissioned for ITV by Jo Clinton-Davis, Controller of Factual and Richard Klein, Director of Factual It will be executive produced by Mark Saben for Wall to Wall Media and series produced by Martin Conway.