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Show Us Their Records - Mark

7 September 2006

Show Us Their Records - Mark

In light of the recent spate of violent youth offending, the Justice Ministry should release the backgrounds of youth offenders convicted of serious crimes to show the public just how effective or ineffective the youth justice system is, New Zealand First law and order spokesman Ron Mark said today.

Mr Mark, sponsor of the Young Offenders (Serious Crimes) Bill currently before Select Committee, said effective early intervention is what is necessary to deter youth from serious offending and that the current youth justice system is clearly not working.

“Young people don’t just spontaneously wake up one morning and decide to commit horrific acts such as that of the concrete-off-the-overpass killer Ngatai Rewiti. There is usually a clear path of minor offending which culminates in serious crimes being committed.

“How many family group conferences did Rewiti have? How many third, fourth, fifth chances did the youth justice system give him? The New Zealand public have a right to know just how ineffective the current youth justice intervention system is, and revealing the backgrounds of serious youth offenders will go a long way towards this.

“New Zealand First will be seeking for the backgrounds of all youth offenders convicted of manslaughter or murder to be disclosed in the public interest and to allow New Zealanders to properly examine the success or failure of the current youth justice system,” said Mr Mark.

ENDS

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