Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Young people speak up on crime, police and justice issues

Press Release – JustSpeak and Children’s Commissioner

8 October 2012

Young people speak up on crime, police and justice issues

Nearly 100 young people from throughout New Zealand have given views on youth justice issues as part of a consultation on the review of the Youth Crime Action Plan.

JustSpeak spokesperson Julia Spelman said that when the review was announced, JustSpeak approached the Children’s Commissioner to undertake joint consultation so that young people had a chance to contribute.

“JustSpeak’s driving ethos is that young people have a lot to offer to the national conversation about justice. We saw the review of the Youth Crime Action Plan as an opportunity for JustSpeak to advocate so that a range of young people’s views could be considered by the Minister,” she said.

JustSpeak, the youth arm of Rethinking Crime and Punishment, is a network of young people calling for positive and visionary change in our criminal justice system. JustSpeak works to involve young people in developing policy and holds community forums each month in Wellington and Auckland on justice topics that matter to young people.

“The ideas that have come out of the review are a reminder that there is value in making the time to ask what young people think,” Ms Spelman said.

Far from being disengaged or apathetic, it is clear that young people care about these issues and are looking to decision makers to introduce policies that address the underlying causes of offending.

Children’s Commissioner Dr Russell Wills said the feedback from the young people was insightful, balanced and constructive.

“They told us that while it was fair to be held accountable, many of the conditions imposed on them (such as curfews) set them up to fail and consequently return to the youth justice system,” he said.

The young people said external pressures also lead to failure and re-offending. This included abuse of drugs and alcohol, problems finding a job and homelessness.

“Many spoke about the value of sports and cultural groups – places where they could develop a sense of community and belonging. They suggested these types of programmes should be available to young people before they get in trouble as a preventative measure.

“For example, while the young people said police generally did a good job, most had concerns about the way they were treated. They suggested that police need to take the time to listen, be helpful and supportive and be more encouraging – especially when young people are doing the right thing,” the Commissioner said.

Many expressed concern about how they were treated by police, particularly in their first encounter with the law. Some felt police treated them harsher because of their age, sex or ethnicity.

The consultation report is available on the Children’s Commissioner’s website at www.occ.org.nz and on JustSpeak’s website at www.justspeak.org.nz

Examples of feedback from the young people:

“Need access to programmes before you get into trouble, not after you are in trouble”

“What we need is an undercover Minister – just like that TV show – undercover boss.
They need to come spend some time in our shoes and see what it’s like for us,
how we get hassled by the cops and stuff.”

“They [police] need to have similar backgrounds to the people they are supporting – this helps with connections i.e. Pacifika people can make connections easier with other Pacifika people.”

“In Sweden they have nurses and doctors that drop into schools – this would be a good idea for New Zealand.”

“Youth should all learn life skills at school like information about flatting – applying for jobs – your rights as an employee.”

“They [police] can be intimidating which makes building relationships hard.”

“A good cop is polite, says hi how are you doing, just checks you are staying out of trouble or they might let you off and buy you McDonalds – just treat you like you’re a normal person instead of a criminal.”

“If you make a good point [at a Family Group Conference] they actually listen to you.”

“They just told me I had to apologise to the victim [at a Family Group Conference], I didn’t have any time to think about it and I didn’t know what to say – I was shy as and then they nutted at me for not getting it right.”

Ends.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

TV3 Videos: Key's Flip-Flop Over Whale Oil Texts | Slater
Reaction: Greens | More
Dim-Post Link: The Very Odd Slightly Left Of Centre

Gordon Campbell: On Government Arrogance

Right now, National is ramming anti-terrorism measures through Parliament. This legislation will grant the SIS the power to carry out 48 hour bouts of surveillance on anyone without a warrant, and will bestow on government the power to unilaterally revoke anyone’s passports and thus deny them the freedom to travel.

Ludicrously, the public has been given exactly one day to make submissions on these major infringements of their civil liberties. Despite Finlayson’s misleading signals on RNZ that these are only stopgaps until next year’s full review of our security laws, the measures in question will not, in fact, expire until 2018.

Why the insane rush? Good question. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Key Texts With Whale Oil Released: PM Can’t Be Trusted Over Dirty Politics Defence - Greens

John Key’s answers to questions about dirty politics can’t be trusted, after he was forced to admit that he had misled journalists and Parliament about contact with attack blogger Cameron Slater, said the Green Party today.. More>>

ALSO:

Temporary Release Crackdown Continues: Corrections Review Of Phillip Smith Case

“The review by Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer reveals that the plan for Smith’s series of temporary releases was overly ambitious and misinformed. He’s a highly manipulative and deceptive person who although technically eligible, should not have been considered for temporary release." More>>

ALSO:

White Ribbon Day: Govt Resumes Sexual Violence Trial Proceedings Work

Justice Minister Amy Adams has asked the Law Commission to resume work on proposals for better supporting victims of sexual violence through the criminal process. The Law Commission will revisit its previous work on alternative pre-trial and trial processes to identify options for improving complainants’ experience in court. More>>

ALSO:

"New Faces, Wise Heads": Andrew Little Announces New Labour Line Up

Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Rick Ellis As Te Papa’s New CEO

The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial goals as he did at TVNZ, while similarly neglecting the serious cultural side of his mandate. More>>

Passport Cancellation, Surveillance: Draft 'Foreign Fighters Legislation' Released

The final draft of the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill contains proposals previously announced by Mr Key in a major national security speech earlier this month. More>>

ALSO:

Related

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news