July 05, 2019
Criminal age out of step with world
The Howard League for Penal Reform says the Government is falling short in its response to the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review by failing to fully raise the age of criminal responsibility.
The Government this week told the UN committee in Geneva it will accept 10 out of the 11 recommendations on criminal justice, including reducing prison overcrowding, addressing discrimination in the justice system and increasing rehabilitative support for Māori prisoners.
But it won’t shift up the minimum age, which for most crimes is 14 and for some crimes such as murder and manslaughter is as low as 10.
League spokesperson Christine McCarthy says it’s important not to criminalise children, as it can lock them into the cycle of recidivism.
She says the current Government's kaupapa of kindness, compassion and well-being needs to be directed at this issue.
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