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Young offenders still waiting for Lab. to deliver

Anne Tolley MP
National Party Associate Welfare Spokeswoman

16 July 2006

Young offenders still waiting for Labour to deliver

"Young offenders are among those paying too high a price for Labour's failing law and order policies," according to National Party Associate Welfare spokeswoman Anne Tolley.

She has released figures showing it costs taxpayers $40,000 to hold a young offender in custody for three months, but she says for as little as $10,000 the Government could be using early intervention programmes that wrap around a whole family.

"Labour's priorities are all wrong. Their house of cards is collapsing.

"The family group conference process is farcical, the ministerial group on youth offending hasn't met since March 2003 and confidential Treasury documents reveal that Labour's Crime Reduction Strategy is a failure. Labour's given up"

Mrs Tolley says the Government has dragged its heels on shifting the focus of CYF youth justice services.

"The recent Youth Justice Capability Review has come to the same conclusions as the Baseline Review back in 2003: namely, that there is a lack of a clear focus on youth justice within CYF, and that there is a tendency to use resources planned for youth justice to meet care and protection demands.

"After three years, the Minister has clearly failed to ensure that youth justice has been appropriately funded, despite getting an increase of 50% to pay for the recommendations from the Baseline Review.

"After Labour promised to 'crack down' on youth crime on the 1999 pledge card, and to provide 'more support for proven programmes to cut youth offending' in 2002, little has changed."

Mrs Tolley says that although overall youth crime figures have remained static, there is a disturbing increase in the specific types of crimes being committed, namely, violence and sexual offences. For instance violent offences for 14 to 16 year olds is up 32% from 3,233 in 1999 to 4,280 in 2005.

"Let's act earlier and stop our kids from tumbling over the edge of the cliff, so they don't need the ambulance at the bottom," says Mrs Tolley.

Attached: Parliamentary Question - 5663 - 1 page.

Parliamentary Question - 5663 (2006)

5663 (2006). Anne Tolley to the Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment (18 May 2006):
How is the cost of a three month residential placement at a youth justice residence or facility itemised, and how much of the total cost does each item represent?
Hon Ruth Dyson (Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment) replied: The average cost per night for using a youth justice residential bed is $432.20 which equates to $39,438 for a 3 month period.
A breakdown of those costs is provided in the attached table. Figures are based on the average daily/weekly direct costs for the 2006 financial year to date (July 2005 to March 2006).

Direct costs include staff, training, administration and client related costs. IT, property, and overheads are excluded. The breakdown of these costs can be seen in the table attached.
Table for PQ 5663 (2006)
June to March Per Bed Per Quarter
Personnel 11,249,701 104,164 34,816.23
Recruitment and training 139,051 1,288 430.34
Administration of the residences 525,820 4,869 1,627.34
Resident related costs 828,498 7,671 2,564.08
Total 12,743,070 117,991 39,438.00

ENDS

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