Youth Justice – how we're doing

We are committed to supporting young people, whānau and victims of youth crime to restore their mana.

The graphs below show how we are performing across several measures. 

Note: 17 year olds became a part of the Youth Justice System as at 1 July 2019. This is denoted in the charts as a dotted line. Please note this means that the populations before and after the line are not comparable as more young people are included in the latest quarter. The inclusion of 17 years may impact on the trends below as 17 year olds may offend in different ways and may have a longer history of offence. 

COVID-19 may have impacted the June, September and December 2020 quarters. This is due to the alert level restrictions first implemented at the end of March 2020.

Outcomes Framework 5

Support following offending

Re engagement for those with Youth Justice history

The proportion of young people referred to Oranga Tamariki Youth Justice once and not subsequently re-referred (blue section of bar) has been growing over the past two years to 47 percent. In total, 76 percent of young people with a past Youth Justice referral had no contact with us this quarter, a slight improvement from 74 percent during the previous quarter.

Graph text description – re-engagement for those with youth justice history

This chart shows the number of rangatahi who have not had any engagement with Youth Justice in the quarter as a proportion of the total rangatahi we have previously engaged with who are still eligible for Youth Justice.

Of all applicable aged rangatahi in the latest quarter:

  • 908 rangatahi who had only one previous family group conference did not have any engagement with Youth Justice in the quarter
  • 577 rangatahi who had multiple previous family group conferences did not have any engagement with Youth Justice in the quarter

Re-offending

FGC history for young people with current FGC

The number of FGCs held overall has decreased this quarter following a large increase last quarter, which was driven by the lifting of face-to-face gatherings restrictions under higher COVID-19 Alert Levels. Young people for whom it was their first FGC, or who have had 2-4 FGCs in their lifetime, made up the majority (76 percent) of all FGCs in the quarter.

Graph text description – FGC history for young people with current FGC

This chart shows the number of rangatahi who have had a family group conference in the quarter, split by the total number of family group conferences they have had in their lifetime, over the past two years.

Of all rangatahi who had an family group conference in the latest quarter:

  • 296 have had one family group conference
  • 195 have had two to four family group conferences
  • 103 have had five to nine family group conferences
  • 54 have had ten or more family group conferences

What is a family group conference (FGC)?

A youth justice family group conference gives a young person, along with their whānau, victims and professionals, a chance to help find solutions when they have offended.

There are three types of youth justice family group conference: an FGC for children who offend, an Intention to Charge FGC, and a Court Ordered FGC. 

Outcomes Framework 6

Less restrictive placements

Custodial placements in Youth Justice

The number of young people in custody has increased in the latest quarter. All placement types have seen an increase. The number in custody in December 2020 is still significantly less than in the December quarter of the previous year.

Note: Work is underway to query the Police Custody figure as it does not align with other data sources

Graph text description – custodial placements in youth justice

This chart shows the number of remand placements over the quarter by type of placement. This is shown by quarter for the last two years.

In the latest quarter:

  • 74 rangatahi had a community based placement
  • 223 rangatahi had a residence placement
  • 22 rangatahi were in Police Custody at some point

What are the different types of placements?

There are several different types of youth justice placements. These can include: 

Residence: A youth justice residence provides a safe and secure place for young people to stay who are in the custody of the Chief Executive following arrest, remand or sentence. Residences are locked facilities that provide 24 hour containment and care. 

Community-based placement: A young person in the custody of the Chief Executive can be placed in the community if their circumstances do not require them to be in secure residence. Community-based placements can include group remand homes, supervised group homes, and family homes among others. 

Police custody: A young person can be held securely by the Police immediately following arrest or on custodial remand while a court case is progressing. This can include those in custody of the Police or in the custody of the Chief Executive.

Shorter placements

Average days on custodial remand

The average placement length of  length in residence has reduced significantly in the last quarter from 47.6 days to 26.4 days. This figure is calculated from placements closed in the quarter. Following COVID-19 more longer term placements than average were closed in June 2020 and September 2020. This may have led to fewer longer term placements closing in the latest quarter which has significantly dropped the average length.

Graph text description – average days on custodial remand

This chart shows the average length in days of each of the remand placement types, by quarter for the past two years.

In the latest quarter:

  • The average length of placement for a community based placement was 17.8 days
  • The average length of placement for a residence placement was 26.4 days
  • The average length of time spent in Police Custody was 1.4 days
Outcomes Framework 7

Initial case decision

Status of cases after first court appearance

Shares of each outcome type have fluctuated slightly over time. For the vast majority of cases, young people are released on bail after their first court appearance. On average, 390 cases are closed each quarter.

Graph text description – status of cases after first court appearance

This chart shows the number of cases finalised in the quarter by the status of their release after the first court appearance. This is shown by quarter for the past two years.

In the latest quarter after the first appearance before a judge for each case:

  • 31 rangatahi were released on custodial remand
  • 62 rangatahi were released on custodial remand then later went onto bail
  • 380 rangatahi were released on bail
  • 25 rangatahi were released into the community

Escalation of bail

Final status of first bail

Of the finalised cases where a young person was released on bail, the number that subsequently remain on bail, are remanded, or offend fluctuates slightly over the quarters. However, those who stayed on bail with no offence still make up half of all statuses for the quarter despite an increase in the amount of cases processed.

Graph text description – final status of first bail

This chart shows the success on bail for each case which had bail in the quarter for the past two years.

Of the cases that had some bail during the quarter:

  • 227 did not offend and stayed on bail throughout the quarter or until sentencing
  • 91 stayed on bail despite committing an additional offence
  • 102 offended and were moved from bail into custodial remand
  • 22 did not offend but were moved from bail into custodial remand

Published: December 15, 2020