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Early intervention: works best, costs less

18 March 2002 Media Statement

Early intervention: works best, costs less

“Getting to young people first - before they commit a serious criminal offence is a priority for this government,” says Corrections Minister Matt Robson.

“That is why we have come up with a comprehensive series of programs to target youth crime. It’s called About Time.

The About Time report was released in 2001. It calls for a host of early intervention measures to deal with at risk children.

About Time won the KPMG Innovations Award last year. At the time the judges said that it contained ‘a package of ideas with unprecedented potential for reducing serious crime.’

“I don’t want to wait until a 12 year old or even a 10 year old commits a violent crime. I want to make sure that we’re working with children at risk of committing crime – and their parents – when they are as young as new born babies.

“That means programs to reduce teenage pregnancies, and if we fail at that, programs to monitor and support new mothers.

“It means more vigorous targeting of kids who are playing truant at school, some as young as five years old.

“It means getting teenagers who are getting into trouble off our street, and not letting them back until they are safe.

“I hope to be announcing on-going proposals for About Time initiatives later this year,” says Matt Robson.

ENDS

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