Say NO to raising the youth justice age
Rather than increase the age of the youth court this petition asks Parliament to introduce a fully transparent Youth Justice system that holds young offenders and their parents/caregivers fully accountable for their actions.
Supporters of increasing the age of the Youth Justice can't make up their mind if they want the age limit to be lifted to 17 or 21 with some even suggesting young persons brain is not fully developed until 25!
If the current Youth Justice System, introduced in 1989, is working as well as the advocates say the question needs to be asked, " Why is crime increasing and why is our prison population growing?" Most of these criminals have traversed from the youth justice system sometime after 1989.
Advocates of increasing the age of the youth co also seem to conveniently ignore that despite the propaganda they espouse prison is actually presently reserved for the recidivist offender. The typical inmate today has somewhere between 7 and 15 prior offences! This begs the question. At what stage of an offenders criminal career should an offender go to prison?
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
We need our young criminals to be held accountable for their actions , we need them to recognise that not only are they damaging their future but also the future of their victims.
We agree that we need decent rehabilitation for these young criminals, and some stability , but raising the age of our youth court means they more than likely will not even go before a judge , as with the youth justice system they have the opportunity of a Family Conference first , most of these youth do not actually have a supportive family that will support them ,mean while their victim has to sit there being intimidated by their offender.
Our country is to criminal friendly , our victims are shoved to the side too often.
Victims of youth offenders are asking to not raise the age as they feel that they will then not be held accountable for their actions nor will they learn what it is they have done was wrong.
We do not have the police resources to manage the rise in youth that will go into the youth system for the proposed police monitoring , so the crime rates will rise as there is nothing to help the youth realise the wrong in their actions and the harm to society they are doing.
FACT: Just because a criminal goes into the adult court system it does not mean they will go to prison - do not be fooled by that - but they will be held accountable for their actions.
Youth need direction , they need to be shown right from wrong , they need to be told that there will always be consequences for their actions.
Government of New Zealand (Parliament)
Say NO to raising the Youth Justice age
We are writing to you in hope that you will take our opinion regarding the proposed changes to the Youth Justice system and that we are against any change to the system.
Our youth system is currently praised with less convictions of youth yet our crime rates have gone up , a high percentage of that being youth offenders , We do not need stats to see justify I just simply listen to the voices of victims and public.
The current youth system tries to keep as many cases as possible with FGC , meaning obviously there are no actual convictions so yes our figures look great!
Our argument is that with the FGC a lot of our career youth criminals do not have the family structure for the FGC to actually work. Their support system is not there. Meaning they lack respect for their elders and the law as that is the example they have been set. So if they do not have the support to follow through with the FGC plan how are they going to complete it or have the back up needed?
We have had discussions with many police officers and youth aid teams crying out that they do not want the change to happen, in fact 76% of our police officers and since they will be the main players of the FGC plan with the proposed police monitoring. Should we not take their views and experience into consideration?
Changing the age is just going to put more offenders on the street with complete disregard for the system , no realisation of consequences , and more pressure on our New Zealand police.
We all know that just because you go through the adult courts does not mean prison time, in fact we are lucky if we can get actual adults who have committed burglaries to do any prison time.
We need to stop making excuses for offenders , it's is a slap in the face for victims , we need offenders to be accountable and responsible for their actions , hold their parents /guardians responsible as well.
The proposed change is not going to put youth crime rates down , it is just going to mean more youth offenders with no consequences and responsibility.
Please take victims and public safety into your consideration.
Regards Jess McVicar
Sensible Sentencing Trust youth Advocate.
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