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Mark Urges Caution On Youth Offending Funding

17 May 2007

Mark Urges Caution On Youth Offending Funding

While New Zealand First law and order spokesperson Ron Mark has cautiously welcomed extra funding to address New Zealand’s skyrocketing youth crime rate, he is concerned that any new initiatives will fail given the Government’s previous history on such programmes.

“The Government is spending $1.4 million next year on intensive intervention programmes for the most serious and dangerous youth offenders. While it is positive that the Government is attempting to address the increase in serious youth offending, previous programmes launched by the Government to stem the tide have failed.

“A major previous programme, the Reducing Youth Offending Programme, was a spectacular failure. Launched in 2003 as a joint initiative between the Department of Corrections and Child Youth and Family, it ran for three years at a cost of $12 million and was found by the University of Canterbury to have had no impact on reducing youth re-offending whatsoever.

“Youth crime is of serious concern to Kiwis, and Government attempts to address the issue are welcome. However, it must ensure that spending is directed and effective, unlike its previous attempts to reduce youth crime,” concluded Mr Mark.


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