Call for MP Access to Inspect Youth Justice Residences
Darroch Ball MP
Spokesperson for Youth Affairs
11 OCTOBER 2016
NZ First Calls for MP Access to Inspect Youth Justice Residences
Members of Parliament must be given access to youth being held under state supervision - just as MPs can visit and monitor adult prisons, says New Zealand First New Zealand First Spokesperson for Youth Affairs Darroch Ball.
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child pointed to the need for adequate funding and staff at the Children’s Commission for visits to youth justice residences.
“MPs have the right to ensure anyone detained is safe, cared for and that the residences are adequate. This shouldn’t be limited to prisoners who are 17 years and older,” says New Zealand First Spokesperson for Youth Affairs Darroch Ball.
“The Children’s Commission only monitors youth justice residences every 18 months, highlighting the need for MPs to have access.
“A simple legislative change is required for this to occur. There is no reason why the Minister of Social Development, Anne Tolley, would raise an objection.
“With multiple reports raising concerns about youth justice residences, including the Children’s Commission report and more recently the final report of the Expert Panel: Modernising Child Youth and Family, there is more need now than ever.
“We must ensure that these young detainees are in an environment that maximises their rehabilitation, reintegration and safety.”