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New measures aimed at reducing youth re-offending

8 June 2006

New measures aimed at reducing youth re-offending

More frontline staff, specialist youth justice teams and closer co-ordination with other agencies are some of the recommendations from a review released today by Minister for Child, Youth and Family Services, Ruth Dyson.

“Turning young offenders around before they become adult criminals is one of the most important things the youth justice system can do,” says Ms Dyson.

“These measures should reduce re-offending, help steer young offenders away from a life of crime and help strengthen our most at-risk families.”

New ways to improve youth justice services and reduce re-offending are outlined in the Youth Justice Capability Review from the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services.

The Review recommends hiring additional social workers and co-ordinators to improve frontline services and a return to having dedicated youth justice social workers.

“Child, Youth and Family will form specialist youth justice teams. Youth justice is a complex area, and young people will benefit from having expert practitioners who don’t divide their time with other social work functions.

“The Department of Child, Youth and Family Services is just one part of the Youth Justice system, and often deals with the most challenging young offenders. The report has identified ways in which we can work more closely with other agencies, including Police and the Ministries of Justice and Corrections, and we’ll be progressing these.”

The Department is to merge with the Ministry of Social Development in July, and as a consequence almost $10 million of savings through efficiencies has been identified and will be put towards funding the recommendations in this review.

ENDS

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