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Ron Mark Has Misled the Public Again says Workman

Ron Mark Has Misled the Public Again says Workman

Ron Mark’s description of me as an apologist for the youth justice system is an attempt to draw attention away from the real issue – that he made comments in the media which have no substance in fact, says Kim Workman, Project Leader, Rethinking Crime and Punishment. He has not challenged any of the factual information– but instead engaged in a personal attack.

“His comment that I have a vested interest in the Youth Justice system is plain nonsense – and he knows it. In our Newsletters, we have been critical of the administration of the Youth Justice system administration on a number of counts.- Anyone who looks them up at http://www.rethinking.org.nz/newsletter.htm, will see that for themselves.

All the available research makes it clear that despite obvious flaws in the Youth Justice System, we are doing a lot better than most other jurisdictions. The measure is not how many we put before the Court, or lock up, but the rate of offending. What Ron Mark finds hard to accept is that:

• 2006 was the lowest police apprehension rate for youth offending since at least 1995.

• The apprehension rate for property offending was the lowest in 10 years

• Burglary apprehension rates are dropping

• While apprehensions for violent offending have increased, the significant increases have only occurred since 2004.

There is no youth crime epidemic. There is an issue with violent crime across all ages – that is what we need to address. If he reads Newsletter #25, he will learn that heavy handed Police tactics do not work in the long run – as he recommends.

Let’s have a debate based on facts.


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