May 28, 2019
Smaller homes better for rangatahi remand
Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft wants to see more small scale secure family houses to take rangatahi who are on remand for crimes.
Releasing the commissions latest State of Care report, Judge Becroft says 80 percent of young people awaiting trial are locked up in the four youth justice centres.
He says the centres are supposed to be for long-term rehabilitation for young offenders who had their charges proved, not for those still awaiting trial.
"The great majority could be dealt with much better in the local community with community-type well supervised homes with two, three or four young people with house parents, well-supervised expert input, a family-like environment which is often what has been missing. That lays the basis for real change and if they are going to have to wait a long time for their case, better they wait in a constructive environment, the best that we can give them," Judge Becroft says.
He’s impressed with a pilot by Ngāpuhi Social Services and Oranga Tamariki to provide one on one remand care, and that could be the way ahead.
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