September 06, 2023
New programme targets recidivist youth
Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis says ram raids have halved since the Government introduced fast-track circuit breaker youth offending programmes last year – and it’s ready for the next phase.
At Auckland’s Te Mahurehure Marae yesterday Mr Davis launched the new intensive turnaround programme.
Up to 60 recidivist young offenders and their families will be assigned an intensive support social worker to develop an immediate plan for the young person and provide ongoing support.
That plan will be specifically tailored to the needs of the child and their family and could include mentoring, alcohol/drug treatment, support to navigate and access the housing and education systems, mental health support, and cultural support.
Mr Davis says marae like Te Mahurehure will play a critical role in providing mentors and role models.
“Because the majority of the young people are Maori, and it’s important that we have Maori faces. But this marae in particular is well-established with these facilities, and the agencies work very closely with the people of the marae – and therefore with the young people,” he says.
Mr Davis says 77 percent of youth on the circuit-breaker programme have not reoffended.
That compares with the previous National Government’s boot camps, which had an 80 percent reoffending rate.