April 23, 2020
Weymouth centre for therapy, not restraint
The Children’s Commissioner says he’s closely watching the development of a new youth justice facility in south Auckland.
Manurewa residents have fought the expansion of Oranga Tamariki’s Whakatakapokai residence at Weymouth to include youth justice services in addition to care and protection for 10 to 16-year-olds.
They say it’s putting a prison in the middle of a residential area.
Judge Andrew Beecroft says he’s been told it’s not a prison but a therapeutic low key rehabilitation centre for girls.
He says therapy is what most of the girls in the youth justice system need.
"They come from extremely traumatised backgrounds, from volatile situations, frequently they have been abused, often sexually. the root cause of their offending is situations usually over which they had no control. They need the best kind of therapeutic specialist input possible," Commissioner Beecroft says.
He says the new centre will work alongside a new and much needed network of community-based remand homes.
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