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Work begins on new youth justice residence

Work begins on new youth justice residence

The first official site visit will be held tomorrow at Child, Youth and Family’s newest youth justice residence, Youth Justice South in Christchurch.

Fletcher Construction has commenced site preparation for building on the 8.5 hectare Rolleston site and is preparing the ground for building foundations for construction of the first building due to start in late June 2004.

Construction is expected to be complete by the end of June 2005 and the residence will open in August 2005 after an intensive staff training period.

The residence will include accommodation, education and administration buildings with a total floor area of 4,700sq/m.

Once completed, the new 32 bed residence will replace the 20 youth justice beds at the Kingslea Residential Centre in Christchurch, and will increase the national youth justice capacity by 12 beds.

In January, Child, Youth and Family opened a new 46 bed youth justice residence in Auckland, which added 15 youth justice beds to the national capacity.

Child, Youth and Family Director, National Services, Ken Rand said the additional bed capacity across the two residences would help reduce the need for young people from the youth justice system to be held in police cells.

Mr Rand said the two new residences were approved in Child, Youth and Family’s 1996 Residential Services Strategy. “Child, Youth and Family is constantly reviewing its residential services capacity, but the lead time for beds to come on stream is significant. This includes locating land, completing RMA processes, design and construction.”

The 32-bed residence is designed to facilitate a rehabilitative approach to youth justice. It will be built to a campus design which houses young people in small, family-type groups and will have multi-cultural centre, a gym, and an education block with facilities for woodwork, mechanics and music.

“The residence will be able to offer activities and programmes that adequately prepare young people for their discharge back into the community,” Mr Rand said.

The Kingslea site in Shirley is being redeveloped to provide a modern ten bed care and protection residence, caring for young people in need of a specialist care environment. This is expected to be completed by April 2005.

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