No More 'Cotton Wool' Approach For Repeat Youth Offenders

It’s time for the youth justice system to be radically overhauled, says New Zealand First.

“Every day youth commit crimes all over the country, including a robbery of a dairy in Palmerston North, says New Zealand First Social Development Spokesperson Darroch Ball.

“New Zealand First’s ‘Youth Justice System Demerit Point System’ Bill, submitted into the members’ ballot today, will put an end to the perpetual re-offending by youth.

“Many youth committing crimes are waiting to face other charges, and often face few  or no consequences for their actions.

“These highly recidivist serious young offenders must be stopped. Our bill includes:

• Demerit point allocation will be scaled with the current Seriousness Scale that exists within the justice system – more serious crimes will accrue more points ranging from 0-100.
• Lower level crimes for first-time offenders (offences or offenders) will concentrate on assessment, support and guidance for the youth and parents.
• Higher level crimes, or multiple re-offences, will accrue a higher number of points which will mean a more serious response including Family Group Conferences, Youth Court or District Court.
• When a youth offender has accrued 80 or more points and/or committed a serious enough offence, they will go directly to Youth Court.  Any subsequent offending at any level will be heard in District Court.

“It will also ensure that those youth who choose to ignore authorities and dismiss the help they are given will be held to account,” says Mr Ball