New Zealand Shows Power of Limiting Arrests While Lowering Crime [jjie.org]

 

Every day in the United States, nearly 53,000 youth are confined in facilitiesaway from home by the juvenile or criminal justice system. Thousands of these youth have not yet even had their day in court and many are there for nonviolent, minor offenses — some for misbehavior like truancy that would not even be an offense if they were an adult.

While we have made enormous progress in many states in reducing detention numbers and closing prisons, too many youth are still spending the night behind bars. Surprisingly, New Zealand provides the United States with a helpful model for effective ways to right size our system by limiting arrests.  

New Zealand’s limitations on arrests, charging

Many have heard of New Zealand’s adoption of the widespread use of restorative justice practices in their youth justice system through groundbreaking legislation in 1989: the Children’s and Young People’s Well-being Act (1989 Act), also called the Oranga Tamariki Act. A lesser-known story — and one with great relevance for our country’s high youth confinement rates — is how New Zealand dramatically shrank their youth justice system. They did this through an intentional effort to reduce the number of youth getting in the front door of the system, in part by legislating limits on arrests.

[For more on this story by Melissa Goemann, go to https://jjie.org/2018/07/05/ne...hile-lowering-crime/]

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