From 1 July 2019, 17-year-olds were included in the youth justice system in most circumstances. Alongside this, there are planned changes to the way young people are detained in custody. It is a priority that as few young people as possible are remanded in youth justice facilities. New ways of managing young people awaiting their court proceedings are being established.
Budget 2019 provided investment in a new type of small, community-based youth justice facility, that is designed and operated through partnerships, including with iwi and Māori organisations. They provide a home-like environment to support rehabilitation and mirror community life and facilitate and encourage close family and whānau connections. In current youth justice facilities, practice changes are being made to achieve some of these same objectives. Work is also underway to support young people who offend into education and employment, including introducing new vocational training programmes into residences.
New Builds: Community-based Youth Justice Placements Services: A Youth Justice Placements Governance steering group (YJPSG) was established and a Project Delivery Plan has been approved. Engagement with local mana whenua informed the development of cultural competency. Funding has been approved for the development of 16 five-bed homes across the country.
Community Based Remand/Bail Homes (Parani): Twenty new community placements are now in place. Iwi and NGO providers for four additional community-based remand/bail homes have been finalised, with one each in Tauranga and Havelock North and two in Auckland. Four remand beds in a repurposed Oranga Tamariki community home in Hamilton were also opened.
An additional six community bail placements were made available in Nelson and Invercargill. Work is underway with NGO and Iwi Social Services to operate a further three community-based remand homes, one each in Tauranga, Waikato and Tairāwhiti regions. Work is also underway with mana whenua to develop a Youth Justice home in Canterbury.