Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Victims May Not Be Told About Teens’ Rap Sheets

Thursday, 24 March 2005

Victims May Not Be Told About Teen Hoods’ Rap Sheet

Following the revelation last week that the number of youth offenders who had attended two or more family group conferences had more than doubled since 2001, United Future law and order spokesman Marc Alexander has since discovered that victims who participate in such conferences may have no idea of how many conferences the youth has already faced.

According to answers to parliamentary questions from the Minister responsible for Child, Youth and Family, Ruth Dyson, previous offending history is not made available until the young person has had the opportunity to admit or deny the current offences.

Once the young person has admitted the current offending, previous offending history may, if relevant, be made available to the family group conference to enable the development of family group conference plans.

“In other words,” said Mr Alexander, “victims may not know until they appear at a family group conference whether the kid has already been through two, three, four, five or even ten of these already.”

Figures released by Mr Alexander last week showed that since 2001, the number of offenders on their second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and eleventh family group conferences had all increased.

“Many victims would think twice about whether they participate in a family group conference if they knew that previous conferences had already failed to stop the offending.

“Why should they put themselves through the trauma of re-living the crime committed against them, often with the intent of helping the offender, if it’s been shown to have little chance of success in the past?”

Some offenders are referred to family group conferences directly by police and others are referred by the Youth Court after they have been charged with an offence, but either way family group conferences are intended for those who have already committed a number of offences and have breached the initial responses of police cautions and diversions.

A Ministry of Social Development study released last year found that victims often felt unprepared for family group conferences and were less likely to have personal contact with the co-ordinator before the conference than the offender or his/her family. The report also found that commitments made by the offender to apologise or recompense the victim were often not followed through, jeopardising the very purpose of restorative justice.

“Victims who are asked to participate in family group conferences should be made aware of the offender’s history as of right. They deserve nothing less,” said Mr Alexander.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news