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Review Of Youth Justice

Current Situation

Violent crime by Youth offenders in NZ continues to escalate. Youth offenders are currently dealt with by way of family group conferences, however this is not effective for recidivist youth offenders.

Changes SST would like to see:

  1. That Police and Courts treat all offenders alike, with only the prison and probation systems treating youth offenders differently to reduce the risks of bullying and exploitation by adult offenders
  2. The age of responsibility be lowered to 12 so youth offenders know that breaking the law will have real consequences. This will also target potential violent and sexual offenders.
  3. An overhaul of the Family Group Conference system so these are only be used for first time non-violent – non-sexual offenders. They need to be genuinely victim focused with accurate records kept and no lawyers present unless the victim requires one.
  4. The introduction of military style courses for repeat non-violent offenders.
  5. Penalties for gang influence on young people. Anyone caught soliciting young people for a crime should be prosecuted and the sentence carries a minimum sentence of 5 years imprisonment.
  6. Restorative justice is limited to post-sentence only.
  7. The introduction of “Three Strikes” legislation for youth offending so the more they offend the greater the consequence.