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Review of the Literature on Pacific Island Youth Offending in New Zealand

NCJ Number
Aggression and Violent Behavior Volume: 18 Issue: 4 Dated: July-August 2013 Pages: 426-433
Julia Ioane; Ian Lambie; Teuila Percival
Date Published
8 pages
This review examines the current literature on Pacific youth offending in New Zealand.
This review examines the current literature on Pacific youth offending in New Zealand. Pacific Island youth offenders are over-represented in the rates of violent offenses, despite not being overly represented in youth offending statistics. A major concern is that the Pacific population has the largest percentage of children and young people under 15 years old in New Zealand. Therefore, this is an issue to be faced by Pacific and wider communities in New Zealand. We focus on risk factors of offending, and its current impacts on Pacific Island youth in New Zealand. A literature review was conducted to explore some of the risk factors for offending looking at New Zealand studies and government reports. This was followed by a review of overseas literature regarding Pacific youths and their offending behavior. Following this, ethnic minorities were included in the literature review from New Zealand and international perspectives. Expectedly, results in this area are sparse. However, a number of efforts have been made to address this gap in the literature which this review included. The findings in this review make future recommendations for Pacific youth with offending behavior. These include that ethnicity should be taken into account when addressing research on youth offenders; data relating to the youth offender such as social and demographic history should also be considered for a more collaborative approach to researching and understanding this population; and more targeted studies towards this population are needed to improve the overall health of the Pacific Island population in New Zealand and overseas. Finally, existing programs and interventions currently in place for our Pacific youths with offending behavior needs to be evaluated to ensure it continues to meet the dynamic needs of our Pacific youth population.