Govt cracking down on serious youth offending

The coalition Government is delivering on its promise to create Young Offender Military Academies, Childrens Minister Karen Chhour says.

“As part of the 100-day plan, the government made it clear it was going to crack down on serious youth offending.

“We’re committed to creating more tools to respond to the most serious and persistent young offenders. This includes the establishment of military-style academies and the creation of a new Young Serious Offender designation.

“We intend for a pilot for a military-style academy to be operating from the middle of this year. It will have a military-style component as well as a rehabilitative and trauma-informed care approach to help these young people turn their lives around and reduce their risk of reoffending.

“Oranga Tamariki will lead and deliver the programme, working with providers where they have appropriate capability and expertise, and alongside other government departments in a multi-agency approach to ensure it is a well-rounded programme.

“I’m confident this programme will deliver the real change needed for many youth offenders. It will show them actually, there are consequences for their actions, but also that with a disciplined and structured environment they can turn their life around.

“I am excited to be working alongside my Ministerial colleagues Paul Goldsmith,  Judith Collins and Mark Mitchell to tackle this problem.”

Legislative changes are required to enable stronger consequences for young people who are committing crimes and they are currently being worked through.