National’s plan for young serious offenders

National is proposing ways of dealing with youth crime, during the election campaign:

National’s plan for young serious offenders

A re-elected National Government will continue its focus on keeping New Zealanders safe by cracking down on the most serious young offenders and holding negligent parents to account.

“Our youth justice system works well for the vast majority of young offenders and our relentless focus on reducing crime has seen the youth crime rate drop 31 per cent. However there remains a small group of around 150 young people who continue to commit large numbers of serious offences,” National’s Justice Spokesperson Amy Adams says.

“These are young people who have been in and out of Youth Court but have shown no willingness or ability to change their behaviour. We are not prepared to just sit back and allow their victims to keep racking up until they reach adulthood.

“We want New Zealanders to be safe in their homes, at work, and on the streets, so we will introduce a $60 million package over four years that will deal with the most violent and recidivist young offenders more seriously, to reduce reoffending.

Young Serious Offender

“We will introduce a Young Serious Offender (YSO) classification which will see this very small group of the most hardened young offenders dealt with in ways that better reflect the seriousness of their crimes and help ensure fewer people are victimised.

“As a part of this, we will establish a defence-led Junior Training Academy based at the Waiouru Training Camp. Judges will be able to order YSOs who commit serious subsequent offences to attend the Academy for one year. The Academy will support YSOs to address problems like addiction or a lack of literacy and numeracy skills, helping them lead better lives while keeping the public safe.

AKA Boot Camp.

“Those who fail to complete their time at the Academy will serve a commensurate adult sentence of imprisonment instead.”

It is estimated that approximately 50 YSOs per year will be sent to the Junior Training Academy. $30 million over four years has been allocated to fund the YSO scheme.

Other changes under the YSO classification will include tightening bail requirements, increasing the use of electronic monitoring, and removing the ability for these most serious young offenders to be released early from any youth justice custodial sentences.

A new National Government will also take further steps to help prevent less serious young offenders moving along the pathway to more serious crime.

“In many cases, young people who offend have few good role models or are given the freedom to commit crimes. We will make changes to hold their parents to account, including by allowing Police to issue instant infringement notices to parents of children under 14 walking the streets without supervision between 12am and 5am,” Ms Adams says.

“In addition, any breaches of court orders directed at a young person’s parent will be recorded on that parent’s criminal record. A loophole means this is not the case currently.

“We will also introduce a contestable fund of $30 million over four years for community groups to support programmes to reduce offending, because we know local solutions are often the best, and we want to give smaller or rural communities the opportunity to take further action.

“National is proud to be the law and order party, that is committed to keeping New Zealanders safe, supporting victims, and addressing the drivers of crime.”

Youth_Justice__Policy_Document.pdf

This sounds like populist pandering type campaign palaver to me.

NZ First: Dog Whistling About Boot Camps Bit Late for National

Somewhat ironic for NZ First to be accusing others of dog whistling.

Serious youth offenders have been allowed to run amok under National, which is now panicking and pouring $60 million into a boot camp and community groups.

“It’s in a rush to herd them into the army and hide them, but dog whistling now about boot camps won’t save National,” says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“National created this problem by its lack of resourcing for the police and not recognising that many youth go off the rails at school.

“For many, school is not the best fit.

“New Zealand First would take these youth out of school, before they get into bashing and threatening dairy owners, and give them a chance.

“Our Youth Education Training and Employment scheme would put them into paid training in the Defence Force where they would improve their literacy and numeracy and learn a trade.

Labour Party: National should be tackling causes of poverty, not boot camp

National should be tackling causes of poverty, not boot camp gimmicks

Troubled young people need to know they’ve got a real chance in life, not thrown into pointless boot camps as the National Party is promising to do, says Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little.

“Fixing our chronic homelessness problem, sorting out our schools and giving young people meaningful work, like Labour’s Ready for Work policy will do, is the stuff that reduces youth offending.

“National’s policy is simply a desperate headline-grabbing response to a problem the Government has created through their underfunding of Police for nine years.

“Boot camps and infringement notices for parents are simply draconian and counterproductive. They won’t make a difference. They are punishing parents when what we need are new ways of intervening early on with families who have challenging situations.

“”These sorts of programmes don’t work. They just turn young criminals into fit young criminals.

“There are far better ways to tackle youth crime than boot camps, which National knows simply failed to stop youth reoffending. Going to Waiouru for a year doesn’t fix family poverty, poor education and other problems which lead to youth crime.

“We need to tackle the root causes. Under National, poverty and homelessness have risen dramatically. Real wages have fallen. Families are under increasing pressure.

“Labour has a plan to help vulnerable families through our expansion of Working for Families. We will tackle poverty because often that’s what turns young people to crime. Our mental health strategy, which includes placing a nurse in every secondary school, will also help at risk youth.

“Labour will also properly fund Police by recruiting 1000 more officers to keep our communities safe,” says Andrew Little.

Andrew Little? He is now Labour’s spokesperson for Justice.