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


Key Labour youth crime programme fails

Simon Power
National Party Law & Order Spokesman

20 September 2006

Key Labour youth crime programme fails

One of Labour’s key youth crime prevention programmes has failed to reduce re-offending after three years and $12 million, according to an evaluation report obtained by National's Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.

Corrections has since withdrawn from the Reducing Youth Offending Programme (RYOP), a pilot it ran with CYF, in which youths worked with social workers to understand what motivated their offending.

Two reports obtained by Mr Power have found that the programme has not reduced re-offending:

- An April 2005 interim report found that 72% of participants were prosecuted for offences that occurred after programme entry. By comparison, 65% of offenders in youth justice intakes in 2002 re-offended within 2 ½ years, and 68% of those prisoners under 20 released in 2002/03 re-offended within a year.
- There was 'no evidence that the RYOP group was re-offending at a lower rate' than a comparison group, and 'there is no credible evidence that the programme is yet achieving its goal of Reducing Youth Offending'.
- A final evaluation report completed in April this year confirmed the findings of the interim evaluation: 'With regard to re-offending, evaluations using three different methodologies all failed to show a significant, credible effect of participation in RYOP in terms of a reduction in the rate of seriousness of re-offending'.

Mr Power also cites a November 2005 Cabinet paper which states that it could not determine how effective the programme was in keeping 28% of offenders offence-free 'because the rate of re-offending for the comparison group was similar'.

"Incredibly, Ministers Damien O'Connor and Ruth Dyson sought funding for the programme to continue for a further three years beyond June 2006, despite the fact that it has clearly failed."

In May this year, CYF announced that it was continuing with the programme after Corrections withdrew, but would ‘re-focus’ it on younger and less serious offenders at a cost of a further $4.2 million over three years.

The Cabinet paper also reveals that the RYOP programme is 'a key component of the government's long term strategy to reduce imprisonment in the long term'.

“The Government continues to struggle with this, but the only honest way to cut the number of prisoners is to cut crime, and that should be the priority,” says Mr Power.

"That means shifting our thinking and our resources into crime prevention programmes that work."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

CPAG Report: The Further Fraying Of The Welfare Safety Net

New Zealand’s welfare system has undergone a major transformation during the past three decades. This process has seriously thwarted the original intent of the system, which was to provide a decent standard of living for all New Zealanders in times of need...

In 2017 it is not unusual for families to be living in their cars, in garages, or in substandard boarding houses. Food banks are unable to meet the soaring demands from not only beneficiaries but, increasingly, the working poor. Private charities, such as KidsCan and Variety, are overwhelmed by the demand from poor families for basic necessities. More>>



Risks & Adaptation: Cheaper To Cut Emissions Than Deal With Climate Change

The cost of climate change to New Zealand is still unknown, but a group of experts tasked with plugging the country's information gaps says it will likely be significant and it would be cheaper to cut greenhouse emissions than simply adapting to those changes. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>


Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>


State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>





Featured InfoPages