April 12, 2021
Whakatakapokai step away from prison for rangatahi
Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis says the new Whakatakapōkai youth justice residence opened in south Auckland this morning represents a better way to deal with young offenders.
The centre at Weymouth opened after years of opposition for neighbouring residents, and Mr Davis says staff will continue to engage with the community.
He says there is space for 15 residents, the majority of whom are likely to be teenage girls, and there is space for whānau engagement, hui-a-whānau and family group conferences, and education and heath services that incorporate mātauranga Māori.
While youth offending has fallen over the past decade, a secure facility is still needed.
"Of all the young people Oranga Tamariki works with, only 2 percent end up going on to serve terms in an adult facility, so we've got to remember because of the great work Oranga Tamariki does, the work these facilities do, it actually prevents people from going on and entering the adult justice system so that is why it is essential," Minister Davis says.
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