Reducing recidivism rates among young offenders

Current literature around young offenders and recidivism rates has shown that in NZ there is a core group of young offenders that continue to reoffend despite going through the youth justice system. To combat this recidivism rate, in 2010 the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Amendment Bill proposed and implemented changes to the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act to allow for tougher sentences (either community or residence based) for both young offenders and their families. This amendment increased the length of time young offenders could be sentenced to residence and/or supervision orders, and also allowed for mandated parenting education programmes for parents of young offenders and/or young offenders who are parents (Bennett, 2009). The amendment also emphasised the need for rehabilitation, mentoring, and support for young offenders and their families as a preventative measure towards reoffending. As a result there has been a strong push towards developing and implementing programmes that reduce recidivism rates of young offenders by targeting criminogenic needs and that also teach and promote pro-social skills. This paper will briefly review the literature and research on which these programmes are based with the goal of identifying effective and therefore best practice approaches to working with young offenders.

Download the whitepaper HMA YJ Whitepaper

Published on Wednesday, August 29th, 2012, under Youth offending

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