26 October 2006
Lazy Tolley misrepresents facts - again
The Labour-led government has increased the number of places in Youth Justice residences over the past year and
considered other options to prevent young people spending time in police cells, says Child Youth and Family Services
Minister Ruth Dyson.
"In the past 12 months an additional 12 beds have opened in Canterbury, an additional 3 in South Auckland, an additional
3 in Dunedin, and there will be a further 8 in Canterbury this year. It is clear that Anne Tolley was not listening as I
told Parliament these facts yesterday. How can she be a
competent spokesperson when she's either ignorant or deliberately misleading the public about what's happening?
"A new Youth Justice residence has been commissioned in the Waikato-Bay of Plenty area to further increase bed numbers
but a proper process of consultation has to be gone through first, in order to provide a facility that is supported by
the local community as well.
"It would be really good if Anne Tolley and the National Party supported the building of youth justice facilities
instead of constantly trying to undermine the progress made by CYF," said Ruth Dyson.
Young people are held in police cells when there are no suitable facilities available for them. Most frequently this
happens when a young person appears in Youth Court and is remanded in the custody of the Chief Executive of CYF but
there is no bed available in a residence.
Social Workers present community alternatives to the Judge if these are available, but not when the young person has
committed very serious and prolific offending. When the Judge is informed that there are no alternative placements for a
young person, he or she will place the young person on remand in Police custody, where the young person is kept separate
from older prisoners and visited by a social worker every day.
Longer-term options being considered include developing assessment tools for the Youth Court, encouraging quicker turn
around of specialists' reports, and the use of home detention in appropriate situations.