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Where is the Youth Crime Action Plan?

Where is the Youth Crime Action Plan?

“It is inconceivable that the Minister of Justice can make a media statement congratulating Justice Sector and ministerial colleagues for reducing youth crime, without making any reference to the Youth Crime Action Plan”, says Kim Workman, spokesperson for Rethinking Crime and Punishment.

“We acknowledge the progress made in halving the number of young people appearing before the Court since 2007; a result due in no small part to a shift in the exercise of Police discretion.”

“But the way forward in reducing youth crime, is not through further ministerial micro-management, but through community involvement – a point made clear by the Youth Crime Action Plan (YCAP).”

Described as the ‘next step’ in response to child and youth offending, the YCAP published in October 2013, emphasises that communities know what works best with young people, and that government agencies work for communities ( not the other way around). It talks about connecting with Maori communities for better outcomes, increased accountability to the community, and rejection of the idea of a ‘youth justice’ pipeline ; instead providing multiple opportunities to exit into a fruitful life in the community.

According to the YCAP, the Ministry of Justice was to achieve the following goals by December 2013:

The establishment of a new governance framework, with a national governance coordinating the provision of resources to achieve results; a central operational support group to support monitoring and information sharing, and a refreshed local governance structure that enables community leadership.

Replacing the Independent Advisory Group with a new ministerial consultative group. This would provide high quality advice and scrutiny during implementation of the Youth Crime Action Plan.

Significant Māori representation on the new ministerial consultative group

“The above steps need to occur before the YCAP can be implemented. We invite the Minister to publicly report on the Ministry’s progress toward achieving the above goals. Let’s not lose sight of the long term strategy.”

Public support for the YCAP is very high – it has a democratic and consultative feel to it; a welcome relief from the control and suppression measures which dominates political responses to criminal justice.


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