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Fresh Start Reforms in Operation progress report

Fresh Start Reforms in Operation progress report

13 December 2012.

Associate Social Development Minister Chester Borrows today released a progress report on the implementation of the Fresh Start youth justice reforms, which includes current trends in re-offending following youth justice interventions.

The Fresh Start reforms, introduced in October 2010, aim to improve community safety and help address the underlying causes of offending by children and young people. Youth Court judges now have more options to deal with offenders, including powers to order mentoring, alcohol and drug rehabilitation, and parenting education programmes, and the ability to impose longer sentences for our most serious offenders. Family Group Conferences now have access to these programmes to better respond to the offences they deal with.

The report builds on last year’s Fresh Start Reforms in Operations Report, and shows that we have seen a significant decrease in youth crime since the introduction of the reforms. This is indicated by reductions in a number of key measures, including:

• apprehensions of young people by the Police

• youth justice family group conferences

• formal orders imposed by the Youth Court.

The report shows that youth justice interventions by Child, Youth and Family have played a key part in this decline in youth crime, with reductions in both the frequency and severity of offending by young people on these programmes.

The report details the results to date broken down by the different types of programme, formal Youth Court order, and intervention, and makes comparisons to similar data prior to the Fresh Start reforms.

While it’s too early to provide complete and comprehensive data, or to make judgements on the long-term effectiveness of the reforms, information gathered to date about Fresh Start initiatives shows promise.

The report is a breakthrough in giving Child, Youth and Family, and colleagues across the youth justice sector, our first real picture of youth justice services in action. This picture will become clearer as we continue to build up data on the effectiveness into the future, and help inform the Youth Crime Action Plan which is being developed.

ENDS

20121212freshstartreformsinoperation.pdf
2011 report: 20july2011freshstartreformsinoperationreport.pdf

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