Celebrating 25 Years of Scoop
Special: Up To 25% Off Scoop Pro Learn More

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Government Takes Action To Address Youth Crime

Hon Karen Chhour
Minister for Children

The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today.

The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target to reduce serious repeat youth offending by 15 per cent.

The YSO declaration will provide more options for the Youth Court and Police to hold serious and persistent young offenders accountable and make powerful interventions to improve their lives.

“We know that small numbers of young people are committing a significant proportion of youth crime in New Zealand,” says Ms Chhour.

“The YSO declaration will give Police and the Youth Court more options for dealing with them effectively.

“YSOs could be sent to a new Military-Style Academy, subjected to a greater use of electronic and judicial monitoring, and Police will have the power to arrest a young person without warrant for non-compliance with conditions of an order or a breach of their bail conditions.

“These interventions will not only benefit their lives in the long run but will reduce the number of victims they are creating.

“We are currently progressing with a pilot Military-Style Academy programme based at the youth justice facility in Palmerston North, under the current law.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“The pilot will be run for 10 young people already in youth justice facilities and feature a three-month residence stage, followed by a nine-month community phase. Participants will follow a specially created curriculum and syllabus, with daily activities to support their health, learning and wellbeing. This will include military-style activities.

“Oranga Tamariki has worked closely with the New Zealand Defence Force, the Ministry of Justice, New Zealand Police, local mana whenua and other community groups to design the pilot.

“The key difference from what we’ve done before in these types of programmes is that the majority of time will be spent focusing on transition back to the community, making sure the teenagers are well set up for the future including a pathway into education, training or employment.”

Under the planned law, a Youth Court judge will have the final say on declaring someone a Young Serious Offender, and a young person will be eligible if:

  • they are 14 to 17 years old at the time of offending
  • have had two offences punishable by imprisonment of 10 years or more proven in court
  • are assessed as being likely to reoffend, with previous interventions having proven unsuccessful.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.