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Monitoring to mentoring


Monitoring to mentoring

The CEO of mentoring organisation Big Buddy says he welcomes the proposals announced today by Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and the Justice Ministry to monitor youth offenders for a year after their release.

Richard Aston says he cannot comment on the proposed doubling of sentences for young offenders but believes the strength of the initiative lies in the proposed 12 month monitoring period after the sentence.

“Change monitoring to mentoring and we may just see the promise of young offenders lives being changed for the better. The sentence may at best be a wake up call to a young offender but something more needs to happen after that. If that young person has a committed mentor involved in their life, caring for them, acting as their ally for 12 months, then maybe they will get a glimpse of a better world, a bigger world, a world with more options and more choices. They may find a stronger sense of self worth and a deeper sense of their rightful place in our community.”

While Richard Aston applauds Principal Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft’s emphasis on “the small group of youth that troubles us” he says it will take careful engagement with those youth on their release to turn their lives around.

“Mentoring programmes are a cost effective way to reduce juvenile offending and re-offending. My concern is that these troubled youth will get their mentoring in institutions. Let’s make sure there is an alternative mentor on their release.”

ENDS

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