Success of Youth Court service rewarded
16 May 2002
An innovative new service set up last year to help Pacific youth appearing before the Youth Court at Manukau will receive $127,000 to continue it for a further year, Courts Minister Matt Robson announced today.
“The service addresses community and judicial concerns that Pacific youth needed better support when appearing before the Youth Court and their families needed assistance to better participate in the Youth Court process, says Matt Robson.
“There was also a need to identify appropriate and sustainable programmes and plans to build self-esteem and provide rehabilitation, to which Pacific youth could be referred by the Youth Court.
“The service has led to increased judicial confidence in the suitability of plans and programmes for Pacific youth and increased options available to the Youth Court in dealing with young Pacific people.
“Early indications suggest greater levels of participation by Pacific families in the Family Group Conference and Youth Court processes geared toward addressing the causes of offending and the prevention of re-offending.
“The Youth Court Pacific Community Liaison Service at Manukau is working well, and to a large measure its success is a tribute to the Liaison Officer, Willie Maea, the members of the Resource Panel which support it, the Youth Advocates and the Youth Court Judges, and the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs.
“I am working toward placing the service on a permanent footing that will see its extension to other courts which serve large Pacific communities, and the development of a similar service for Maori youth who come before the Youth Court, envisaged in the government’s Youth Justice strategy, says Matt Robson.