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Youth in Prison (From Prison Review -- Te Ara Hou: The New Way, P 175-180, 1989 -- See NCJ-121757)

NCJ Number
Date Published
6 pages
According to the New Zealand prison census concluded in 1987, 15 female and 429 male prison inmates between 15 and 19 years of age, including corrective trainees, were in custody.
Corrective training is available to young people whom the court is satisfied would have been sentenced to at least 3 months imprisonment if they had been over 20 years of age. The objective of corrective training sentences is to reduce reoffending by a punitive, but fair sentence that provides a rigorous way of life for a short period. The imprisonment of young offenders is a contentious subject, particularly with regard to the need for separate youth prisons and the effectiveness of corrective training sentences. Although youth prisons are disputed, there is general agreement that young offenders have particular needs and require special attention. Instead of establishing separate youth prisons, it is recommended that inmates under 20 years of age be placed in habilitation centers as early in their sentences as possible. It is also suggested that the paramilitary regime of corrective training be replaced with a balanced regime of physical activity, education, and life skills training. Existing laws on the imprisonment of young offenders in New Zealand include the Criminal Justice Act of 1985, the Children and Young Persons Act of 1975, the Crimes Act of 1961, and the Summary Proceedings Act of 1957.