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Youth offenders and parents to finally be held to account

Youth offenders and parents to finally be held to account

13th August 2017

This will now give the youth of New Zealand better opportunities to improve their future, it is a massive step in the right direction, and an exciting opportunity for New Zealand.

National have today announced that Judges will be able to sentence the most serious of youth offenders to an Academy at Waiouru training camp for up to a year.

Sensible Sentencing Trust’s (SST) youth advocate Jess McVicar says this is brilliant. “We have been continuously saying this is what needs to happen. People have long been concerned about youth offenders going to prison. The SST do understand that and agree it was not the place for them, but that we needed a Military style camp for the offenders to be sentenced to attend. There they will learn there are consequences for their actions, they will learn to respect others; something lacking in many of the youth today.”

Justice Minister Amy Adams today also announced Police will have the power to issue infringement notices to parents of children under the age of 14 found walking the streets between 12am and 5am without supervision. Jess says she hopes this will help to break the cycle for when youth first start offending. “Now if kids are caught tagging, or just wandering the streets looking for trouble, the parents will be held to account for not teaching their kids right from wrong.”

Most New Zealanders have long been wondering what has gone so wrong with all the youth offending that is happening at the moment - it starts at home. Parents not knowing where their kids are in the middle of the night; parents not teaching their kids that there will be consequences for their actions. With the new infringement notices that will be issued, parents will hopefully start concentrating more on showing their children the right path, and focus on teaching their kids respect and accountability – instilling the A, B, C, D’s Accountability, Boundaries, Consequences and Discipline.

$30 million over four years has been allocated to fund the YSO scheme with an estimated 50 youth offenders per year being sent to the training camp.

Jess said this is a win for the country. “Yes $30 million is a lot of money, but the long-term benefits of having this bootcamp programme in place will we hope, see the decrease in the youth crime rate. The youth offenders that get sent to the bootcamp will all hopefully leave the Academy with a fresh outlook on life, with goals for a better future and remorse for their offending, rather than starting a career in serious offending."

“This programme will get them off the streets and out of the situations that are causing them to offend.“ Jess says.

The programme will support the youths to address problems like addiction, or lack of literacy and numeracy skills and teach them how they can better live their lives while keeping the public safe.
“Finally, we will be spending money that will be focused on the safety of the public. It will hopefully see the crime rate drop going forward and that in turn will mean less victims.”

Jess says she is excited about this announcement “This will now give the youth of New Zealand better opportunities to improve their future, it is a massive step in the right direction and an exciting opportunity for New Zealand.” ENDS

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