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18 Mar 2018 20:52
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  •   Home > News > Law and Order

    Nats' Waiouru plan for young crims

    National wants to send young criminals to a boot camp at Waiouru but critics say boot camps are an old idea.

    National wants to pack about 50 young criminals a year off to a boot camp at Waiouru where the army can drum some discipline into them.

    The "Junior Training Academy" will be part of $30 million spend over four years on a new class of criminal called a young serious offender.

    "There remains a small group of around 150 young people who continue to commit large numbers of serious offences," justice spokeswoman Amy Adams, who is also justice minister, said on Sunday.

    Judges would be able to send the worst young offenders to Waiouru for one year to deal with problems like addiction or a lack of literacy and numeracy skills.

    Those who failed to complete their time at Waiouru Military Camp would serve the balance in jail.

    Police would also be allowed to issue instant infringement notices to parents of children under 14 years old walking the streets without supervision between 12am and 5am.

    Breaches of court orders directed at a young person's parent would be recorded on that parent's criminal record, closing a current loophole, Ms Adams said.

    NZ First leader Winston Peters said National had already tried boot camps with little success.

    "National hasn't managed crime and it's run out of ideas," he said.

    Labour justice spokesman Andrew Little said boot camps and infringement notices for parents were simply draconian and counterproductive.

    ""These sorts of programmes don't work. They just turn young criminals into fit young criminals."

    The YSO classification would come with tightened bail requirements, increased electronic monitoring and removing any early release from custodial sentences.

    National would also set up a contestable $30m fund for community groups to support programmes to reduce offending.

    © 2018 NZN, NZCity

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