Youth Remand to the Police Cells: Proposals for Change
35 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2019
Date Written: July 4, 2017
Young people in the youth justice system are being remanded to the Police cells when the Youth Court feels there is no other safe place for them. Conditions in the Police cells are unacceptable, with young people being detained in solitary confinement with no access to educational or rehabilitative programmes, a lack of privacy, poor quality food, no ability to shower, and no facilities allowing for visitation. There are a number of potential measures which can address this problem. The usage of bail should be increased, conditions such as electronically monitored bail and supported bail should be used with greater frequency, and bail accommodation should be further investigated. Where possible, young people should be remanded to the nearest Youth Justice Residence, however logistical concerns may make this option unnecessarily stressful and arduous for the young person and risk removing them from whānau support. The option of remand to the Police cells should be abolished and replaced with the power for the Youth Court to remand a young person to adult prison.
Keywords: Youth justice, bail, Oranga Tamariki, remand
JEL Classification: K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation