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JustSpeak to launch in Auckland - forum on Youth Offending

JustSpeak to launch in Auckland with a forum on Youth Offending

JustSpeak will officially launch in Auckland on Wednesday 8 August with a forum on youth offending in Aotearoa.

The forum will feature Dr Ian Lambie, Director of Clinical Psychology Training at the University of Auckland and a member of the Ministry of Justice Youth Justice Independent Advisory Group; Dr Tracey McIntosh, Head of Department of Sociology at the University of Auckland and Board Member of Rethinking Crime and Punishment; Fa’afete Taito, a University of Auckland student; Dr Julia Ioane, Clinical Psychologist at Safe Network Ltd who recently completed her thesis entitled "A Comparison of Pacific Island Violent Youth Offenders with Māori and Pālagi Violent Youth Offenders"; and Senior Sergeant Mike Fulcher, District Youth Services Co-ordinator, Counties Manukau Police District.

The speakers at the Auckland launch will look to provide insight into youth offending in New Zealand based on their interactions with the youth justice system and areas of expertise. They will also share their thoughts on the Government’s recently announced review of the Youth Offending Strategy and look to explore ways in which JustSpeak Auckland may contribute to that review.

One of the organisers of the upcoming forum, Diane White, says this is an important opportunity for young people to be heard on an issue of direct relevance to their generation. Ms White says, “Youth offending is an area in which policies are often made without necessarily engaging with the key stakeholders – young people themselves. We see the review of the Youth Offending Strategy as an important debate for all young people, given the impact it may have on them and their peers.”

JustSpeak is a non-partisan network of young people who seek to encourage a new generation of debate around criminal justice issues with the aim of achieving a more just Aotearoa. The guiding ethos driving JustSpeak is that young people have much to offer to the national conversation on criminal justice: amongst other things, young people bring an imaginative outlook; a feeling of urgency; and a sense of hope.

The organisation was formed in Wellington at the beginning of 2011 as the youth arm of Rethinking Crime and Punishment. After attracting a strong following there, JustSpeak officially launched in the capital in April 2012 with the release of its position paper on Māori and the Criminal Justice system. Since then JustSpeak has gone on to make a number of submissions, including on the inquiry by the Māori Affairs Select Committee into the wellbeing of Māori children and the Vulnerable Children Green Paper; organised consultations so that young people can air their views, notably on the Victims Code with the Victims Centre; and held monthly forums.

Media are invited to the launch of JustSpeak at 6:30pm at the Library Basement, University of Auckland Library, Building 109, 5 Alfred Street, Auckland. In addition to introductory addresses and a panel discussion, there will be an opportunity for discussion and collaboration. For more information, please contact Kate Stone at justspeaknz@gmail.com


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