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Youth Crime Action Plan terms of reference released


Hon Chester Borrows
Associate Minister of Justice

11 September 2012

Media Statement

Youth Crime Action Plan terms of reference released

Associate Justice Minister Chester Borrows today released terms of reference for the Youth Crime Action Plan.

The plan is part of the Government’s efforts to reduce offending by, and victimisation of, children and young people.

“The Youth Crime Action Plan will improve support for and coordination between frontline youth justice staff, service providers, families, schools and communities. It will identify what’s working well in the current system – as well as areas where there is room for improvement – and come up with practical solutions that make a real difference in communities and the lives of young people,” says Mr Borrows.

The Action Plan’s terms of reference has six key objectives, including improving efforts to intervene in youth offending earlier, particularly with young Māori, and creating a framework to help whānau and community groups develop innovative local solutions.

Mr Borrows says the Action Plan will draw on information from various initiatives, such as reviews of family group conferences and Youth Offending Teams, evidence about the impact of the first two years of the Fresh Start reforms, the select committee inquiry on child offending and the Green Paper on Vulnerable Children.

Officials are consulting with frontline practitioners, non-government organisations, experts and other interested parties who regularly work with child and youth offenders. In addition, extensive consultation is being held with Māori through a reference group and a series of hui across the country.

“These are the people who are closest to the issues and the people most affected by youth crime. Their input will help ensure the Action Plan is practical and credible,” Mr Borrows says.

The Action Plan will help deliver the Government’s Better Public Services goal of reducing youth crime and the wider goal of reducing offending and victimisation rates. The plan is intended to be released in early 2013.

The terms of reference can be found at www.beehive.govt.nz, and interested parties can submit ideas for the Action Plan to YCAPideas@justice.govt.nz.

Terms of Reference for
Youth Crime Action Plan

Purpose

The Minister and Associate Minister of Justice have requested that youth justice officials work together and in consultation with the youth justice sector to develop a Youth Crime Action Plan (the Action Plan). The purpose of the Action Plan is to support youth justice services and frontline practitioners and to contribute to the delivery of the Government’s Better Public Services goal of reducing youth crime. This will also support the Government’s wider goal of reducing rates of offending and victimisation.

Objectives

Key objectives of the Action Plan will be to develop practical and focused improvements to the youth justice system, which will:

• Increase opportunities for early and sustainable exits from the youth justice system, particularly for Māori. • Reduce the flow through the youth justice system by improving integration between agencies and NGO partners to intervene in youth offending earlier, particularly with Māori young people and their whānau. • Improve data collection and use to better understand flows through the youth justice system and intervention effectiveness, with particular emphasis on Courts, Police and CYF. • Improve delivery of interventions and services to ensure they are properly coordinated and improve outcomes. • Create an outcomes framework that enables whānau and community groups to develop innovative local solutions. • Improve how agencies work together to prevent children and young people from offending and reoffending.

In scope
Changes to the systems and services within the youth justice system to reduce the youth crime rate, including: • Engaging with Health and Education on the contributions these agencies will make. • Reviewing Youth Offending Teams based on feedback from consultation. • Considering lessons learned from the Social Sector Trials. • Legislative changes to the Children, Young Persons and their Families Act required to support the Action Plan.

Interdependent Work Streams
The following current government initiatives are critical levers to reducing child and youth crime and so are relevant to the Action Plan, but may or may not be specifically addressed under it – • Broader work on vulnerable children and their families identified through the White Paper. • Youth Services Welfare Package. • Police Youth Policing Plan 2012 – 2015. • New Zealand Police Prevention First Strategy. • Improvements to family group conferences being led by the Chief Social Worker. • The government’s response to the Select Committee report into the identification, rehabilitation, and care and protection of child offenders. • National Youth Forensic Service. • Evaluation of the Rangatahi Courts.

Timeframes
28 June 2012 Minister Borrows announces work to commence on the Action Plan March 2013 Cabinet decision and release of Action Plan Communications Key agencies (CYF, MSD, Police, and TPK) co-ordinated by the Ministry of Justice will ensure that key stakeholders and communities of interest are aware of the development of the YCAP. Consultation and engagement with the community • Engagement and reporting back to key NGO and community stakeholders including the Youth Justice Independent Advisory Group and the Principal Youth Court Judge will occur in the development stage of the Action Plan. • Officials will provide weekly oral reports to the Associate Minister for Social Development/Justice (Youth Justice) on progress in drafting the new Action Plan. Engagement with the Ministers of Social Development, Justice, Police and Māori Affairs will occur as necessary.

The Action Plan is the shared responsibility of the key agencies (CYF, MSD, Police, and TPK) co-ordinated by the Ministry of Justice.

ends



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