ORANGA TAMARIKI (YOUTH JUSTICE DEMERIT POINTS) – Youth Justice Committee for the Law Society make submission
At the First reading of the amendment to the bill on 22 July 2020, Parliament referred the bill to the select committee for submissions and recommendation. Questions for the select committee to consider included: will a demerit points system increase accountability? will it assist getting young people back on the right path? Is a mechanical system the right solution for youth?
“Presenting to the select committee for the first time was an interesting insight into the work that our parliamentarians do, and I would recommend it to everyone to see one of the steps in how our law is made. Everyone would agree, seeking to improve interventions for youth offending is a worthwhile objective.” However, Dale was clear in her presentation to the select committee that the bill as it is drafted will not realise that objective. The bill proposes a significant departure from the current Family Group process, which is an important part of our Youth Justice system and has proven to be effective in addressing the needs of the community and the young people who offend. Dale pointed to there being a lack of evidence to support the suggestion that introducing demerit points will be effective in penalising and deterring those young people from offending.