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

 

SST calls for transparency in Youth Justice

SST calls for transparency in Youth Justice

15th August 2017


“The lack of transparency in the youth system has allowed a hard-core of youth offenders to maintain their anonymity and offend at will with many insiders denying a problem existed.”

SST founder Garth McVicar today said: “By introducing the new scheme the Government has at least acknowledged a problem exists and while we believe the policy is a first step in the right direction there is still too much left to Judicial discretion, and there are too many other unanswered questions.”

“Government could, and should, draw a line in the sand on youth offending and clearly mandate significant imprisonment terms for certain types of offending by youth. Putting aside murder and manslaughter, which are rightly dealt with by the High Court already, other serious offending such as aggravated robbery, robbery, recidivist burglary and serious or unprovoked assaults should carry mandatory imprisonment in a youth justice facility for significant periods of time. At present, Judicial discretion rules supreme.”

“Our view is that particular types of serious offending by youths should carry mandatory imprisonment in a youth facility. All too often, the system fails due to the soft approach of Judges in the Youth Court, and the youth offender simply continues offending and graduates into the adult prison system after creating many new victims – many of which could have been avoided. Frankly, some youth offenders are too dangerous to leave on our streets.”

“This is about serious, difficult to reform youths, who have little or no fear of the consequences of their offending – because at present there are no real consequences in the Youth Court. In other words, no deterrent.”

“The lack of consequences and transparency in the youth system has allowed a hard core of youth offenders to maintain their anonymity and offend at will with many insiders denying a problem existed.”

“What is needed is a tough and certain response hanging over the head of all serious youth offenders – in other words suspended sentences – lengthy ones. This would give the youth the opportunity to reform in the “boot camp”, but the certainty of imprisonment if unwilling or unable to do so."

“The boot camp should operate as an alternative to the imprisonment otherwise imposed, not the other way around. If the youth successfully completes the boot camp, then that should act as a deduction on the term of imprisonment, and the balance of the term should be suspended. That way, if the youth then goes on to offending again seriously, then they could be recalled to prison.”

“In terms of the fines able to be imposed by Police for parents allowing their children to wander in the middle of the night – how will these be enforced? Millions of dollars of fines accumulated by serious offenders are written off by Judges every year, and millions more go uncollected. The parents in many cases will be those racking up thousands in unpaid fines already. So where is the penalty? Will the Government ensure that such fines will be enforced through mandatory attachment orders? We suspect not.

“While the policy announcement is a step in the right direction, when you dig deeper into it, it appears to lack teeth. New Zealanders and young offenders quite frankly deserve more certainty and complete transparency.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Dealing Crackdown, Addiction Support: Government Action On Synthetics

The NZ Drug Foundation has welcomed the Government’s response to synthetic drug deaths. The response strikes a balance between giving law enforcement the tools they need to target criminal networks and changing drug law to make it easier for people to access help when they need it. More>>

ALSO:

Strategy Committee Unanimous: Wellington To Forge Ahead With Convention Centre

The three-storey Cable Street building, with around 18,000-square metres of floor space, will comfortably be able to host 1500 people for conventions. It includes a 1651sq m exhibition area that will attract international exhibitions too big for nearby Te Papa and provide an always-changing visitor attraction. More>>

ALSO:

Surveying The Surveillance: First IGIS Review Of Warrants Under New Act

The report sets out the Inspector-General’s interpretation of the new warrant provisions under the ISA and her expectations of the GCSB and NZSIS when they prepare warrant applications. More>>

SSC: 2018 Public Service Workforce Data Published

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has published the 2018 Our People, Public Service Workforce Data , which shows the Public Service is making significant progress in important areas. More>>

ALSO:

Sinking Cap: Auctions, Permanent Forests, Added To ETS

The move to auctions, signalled in an August consultation paper, will help put a cap on the number of emission units available over time. Annual announcements, looking forward five years, will help provide certainty for scheme participants, she said. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Select Committee Report: Achieving Smokefree 2025

In a historic first for select committees, the Māori Affairs Committee and the Health Committee presented their joint report on achieving the Smokefree 2025 goal to the House on Tuesday, 11 December 2018. More>>

"Shared Interests And Democratic Values": Peters To Visit USA

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington D.C. for talks with US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and other senior members of the US Administration. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels