Court Martial: Soldiers Behind Bars | Preview (Channel 5)
For serving soldiers who are convicted of serious civilian or military crimes, from GBH to sexual assault and theft to desertion, the army has its own detention facility with cells, drill and solitary confinement known as the Military Corrective Training Centre.
Described by one senior officer as an ‘employer’s prison’, this is a notorious establishment of back-to-basics discipline and a challenging penal regime that puts deadly weapons and live ammunition into the hands of its inmates. It’s where breaking the strict rules can mean the end of your Army career and punishing training pushes some detainees to the limit.
Filmed over several months, we follow the tough everyday existence for soldiers who find themselves detained and the Military Provost Staff who are there to guard them. From sex offenders to deserters to violent criminals and fraudsters, new detainees discover where they will be living and what their tough new daily routine looks like, the rules they must follow, and the ultra-disciplined behaviours expected of them.
We meet the soldiers banged up, and the single-minded staff, from the Commandant to the company sergeants and their teams, who aim to retrain those who are soldiering on, and deal with those being dismissed by the Army when their attitude clashes with their obligations as a soldier.
We discover the meaning of military discipline: how the military treats and aims to rehabilitate detainees who are first and foremost trained to fight and be aggressive, how they are punished and then ideally remoulded in the military’s image to re-join their units, or, for those being dismissed from the military for good, how they are made ready for the civilian world.
With exclusive access for the first time in 30 years, this revealing three-part series takes us from arrests with the Royal Military Police to behind the walls and razor wire of Colchester’s Military Corrective Training Centre, formerly known as the Glasshouse.
Soldiers Behind Bars begins Monday 14th August at 9pm on Channel 5.