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

Gordon Campbell: On The Budget

It may seem like Oliver to be so bold as to ask the Finance Minister for more gruel – but what the Dickens, Steven Joyce… is this Budget really as good as it gets?

Supposedly, the public was going to receive significant rewards – an election year lolly scramble no less – for the eight years of belt tightening that they’ve endured, and for the rundown of essential public services.

Well, what Budget 2017 delivered instead in Education and in Health were allocations barely sufficient to maintain the current levels of service delivery More>>

Scoop Full Coverage: of Budget Announcements & Reaction
Latest: Scoop Search

 
 

Auditor-General Stands Down For Investigation: Gordon Campbell On (Not) Taking Responsibility

So Martin Matthews, our current Auditor-General wishes he could have detected “earlier” the fraud that occurred on his watch at the Ministry of Transport. Hmmm. But he could have detected it earlier, surely? That’s the point. More>>

ALSO:

NGOs Pleased: Govt To Halt Collection Of Client Data

Brenda Pilott, the chair of ComVoices and national manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, congratulates the government on its decision to call a halt to the collection of individual client data until the concerns of not-for-profit service providers have been worked through. More>>

ALSO:

Gosh: Blasphemy Law Repeal Struck Down

Chris Hipkins, the MP who tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to add our Blasphemy Law to the Statutes Repeal Bill, said this was a "sad day for freedom of speech, tolerance, and leadership". More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Navy’s Dealings With Fat Leonard, And Twin Peaks

At an official level, our “she’ll be right” attitude routinely spills over into a keen resentment of anyone who suggests the outcomes may be less than satisfactory… The Navy has now gone one step beyond. It won’t even ask itself whether it did a good job. More>>

ALSO:

NZDF: Fifth Rotation Of Troops Heads To Iraq

The fifth rotation of New Zealand Defence Force troops left today for a six-month mission training Iraqi soldiers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Demonising Of Iran

Will New Zealand still be willing to pursue its recent trade overtures to Iran, now that US President Donald Trump has used his speech in Riyadh to single out Iran as the main source of terrorism and instability in the Middle East? More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

Opening The Election Supporters

 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election