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Rolleston residence increases youth justice beds

4 October 2005 =

New Rolleston residence increases youth justice beds

A new 32-bed youth justice residence in Rolleston, Christchurch, will help address a national shortage of youth justice beds and provide a therapeutic environment for young people who offend, Child, Youth and Family Minister Ruth Dyson said today.

The new residence, Te Puna Wai o Tuhinapo (‘cleansing of the spirit by the waters of Tuhinpao’) replaces the youth justice wing at Kingslea Residential Centre and increases the total number of youth justice beds around the country to 102.

Opening the residence, Ruth Dyson highlighted the importance of a purpose-built youth justice facility.

“It is better for young people to be in specialised, separate youth justice facilities. The current level of demand means that at times young people are held in police cells, alongside adult offenders. Clearly this situation is not acceptable.

“Te Puna Wai will allow South Island young people to remain in the South Island, near their families and whanau, in specialised care and out of police cells.”

Ruth Dyson thanked the Rolleston community and acknowledged the importance of their support in developing the facility.

“We are standing here today because of the good will and commitment on the part of the Rolleston community to welcome this facility and be involved in shaping its place in their midst. This shows the importance of partnership between the government and communities.”

Ms Dyson said the residence was part of a wider government strategy to improve and increase the capacity of all Child, Youth and Family’s residential services – both youth justice and care and protection.

She said programmes at Te Puna Wai would hold young offenders accountable for their offending and at the same time, help them to be rehabilitated back into the community.

ENDS

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