August 29, 2016
Youth justice age lift fix for reoffending
Prison reform lobby group JustSpeak says increasing the age of young offenders in the youth justice system would be a quick and effective way of addressing the high prison population, especially when it comes to young Maori.
Chair Julia Whaipooti says the group hopes the Waitangi Inquiry into the way Corrections deals wth Maori, which has now finished its hearings, will result in changes to the system.
She says there are things the government could be doing now, starting with keeping vulnerable youngsters out of adult prisons.
"The research and evidence shows that as soon as someone touches the adult criminal justice system the more likely they are to reoffend, reoffend violently, and stay in the justice system, but we also know our rangatahi system has better ourcomes for our young people and increases the likelihood they won't enter the system," Ms Whaipooti says.
She says New Zealand has been criticised internationally for the inconsistent way it treats young people under the law.
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