Are there lessons to be learned from the youth justice system?
Keywords:Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989 (CYPF Act), Diversion, Police Youth Aid, Youth Court, Reducing institutionalisation, Ministry of Justice
It has been almost 20 years since the introduction of the ground-breaking Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989 (CYPF Act). When introduced the act revolutionised New Zealand youth justice practices (Watt, 2003). It was responding to significant perceived problems with the existing system, including: â€¢ too many young people being brought before the courts; â€¢ too much reliance on an institutionalised, residential approach (often criminalising behaviour which was really the result of care and protection deficits); and â€¢ insufficient opportunity for family and cultural input.
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