Dr J Langley & Dr I Lambie

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					Dr Ian Lambie Department of Psychology University of Auckland

Dr John Langley Chief Executive Cognition Education

 “The children of today are tyrants. They talk back to their

elders, slobber their food and annoy their teachers.

Socrates (469-399 BC)

 “There are a number of children running about the streets of

Dunedin…without the control of parents. If the government does not take them in hand…they will become…members of a criminal class.”

Otago Daily Times 1884

 “There is a definite relationship between the increase in the

number of children on the streets and the increase in juvenile crime.”

Otago Daily Times 1886

The point
 “Every generation seems to believe that those

who follow at are somehow less righteous, less moral and more poorly educated than they are. In almost every case they are wrong”
Dr John Langley

Some facts

 Currently: ◦ Children aged 10-13 can not be prosecuted except for murder of manslaughter. Where a child’s offending raises concern about their wellbeing, the offending is addressed under the care and protection jurisdiction of the Family Court, which can lead to a CYFS Family Group Conference (FGC) and, if unresolved or defended, a Family Court hearing. ◦ For other offences children are dealt with through a warning contact with family or CYFS FGC which could lead to a Family Court hearing. This is on the assumption that the offending is related to care and protection matters. ◦ Young people aged 14-18 are dealt with through Police Youth Aid, diversion, and FGC or could appear before the Youth Court. ◦ 15 and 16 year olds will first appear in the Youth Court but can be transferred to District (adult) Court for sentencing on serious charges. ◦ Young people who offend as 17 year olds are treat as an adult for the purposes of criminal law. ◦ Charges of murder of manslaughter are always finally dealt with in the adult criminal system.

Source: UNICEF NZ Summary Position Paper

Some facts
 There is no youth crime “epidemic” ◦ Youth offending has not increased but has remained stable over the 10 years 1997-2006 (22% of total offending). ◦ Youth property offending was the lowest recorded in the years 1995-2006. ◦ 10-13 year olds have the lowest rate of apprehension for all types of offences, other than property. ◦ Violent offences by 10-13 year olds reduced by 10.79% in the years 1997-2006 but there was an increase in violent offences for 14-16 year olds in recent years. ◦ The total youth apprehension rate over years 1995-2006 was the lowest recorded at 1,591 per 10,000 population. ◦ 80% of young offenders commit 20% of all offending. This group is likely to stop offending after appropriate apprehension and intervention

Some facts
 Changes in Violent Offences
 Violent offences in the overall population increased

in the last 10 years by 22%.  Violent offences by young people increased but remain a relatively small proportion (12% in 2006) of all offences by young people.  There was a 39% increase in serious violent offences by young people in the last 10 years most often committed in the company of older offenders.

Some facts
 Recidivism

5-15% of total number of youth offenders commits 40-50% of all offences. They are the group who are most at risk of becoming recidivist adult criminals.
◦ Those who continue to offend have a number of distinguishing ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦

characteristics: 83% are male. 70% are not at school – most are not even enrolled at a secondary school. Most experience family dysfunction, disadvantage and lack of positive male role models. Many have some form of psychological disorder or specific learning disability, e.g. dyslexia. At 50% are Maori. In some Youth Courts the Maori appearance rate is 90%.

Some facts

 Youth Offenders 80% commit 20% of all offences ◦ Will age out of offending ◦ Commit at least one crime ◦ Tend to start later in adolescence, after 13 ◦ Stop offending by age 24-28 ◦ 75% dealt by the Police Youth Aid Section ◦ 33% involved in FGC do not re-offend at all. ◦ 22% involved in FGC re-offend in a very minor ◦ At least 50% are Maori and in some Youth Courts the Maori appearance rate is 90% ◦ Together with their families, show a range of problems that included substance abuse, criminal behaviour, accommodation difficulties, poverty, unemployment, mental health problems, violence, neglect and abuse of every type imaginable, poor education Both groups commit serious offences, but the latter tend to commit more of them, partly because the commit crimes at a high rate over a long period.

Some facts
5-15% commit 60% of all offences ◦ Are at risk of becoming recidivist adult criminals ◦ Start early – before age 14 and as early as 10 ◦ Offend at high rates ◦ Only 30% commit crimes of violence ◦ 83% are male ◦ 70% are not at school – most not even enrolled at a secondary school ◦ Most experience family dysfunction and disadvantage and lack positive male role models ◦ Many have some form of psychological disorder or specific learning disability, e.g. dyslexia

What doesn’t work
◦ “Getting tough” interventions (boot camps, scared straight,

shock probation, paramilitary training) almost always fail. Punishment and detention are not effective forms of rehabilitation ◦ The greatest change in expected re-offending rates for persistent offenders was not achieved through deterrent sentencing. Likelihood of re-offending increases 25% after a deterrent sentence. Robert Ludbrook (Child Rights Lawyer) points out that while the

call for harsher penalties for young offenders and the proposal that children as young as 12 years be dealth with in the adult criminal system may attract some public support, these measures will not reduce youth offending and will take New Zealand in the opposite direction to that proposed by international and national human rights bodies.

What doesn’t work
 Punishment increases the likelihood of re-offending

When children come into contact with the adult criminal justice system, there are negative psychological and behavioural consequences for them:

◦ ◦ ◦ ◦

Verbal, physical, sexual and emotional abuse is likely for young people in detention who are:  Imprisoned for the first time  Small  From a middle class background  Effeminate in behaviour  Lacking “streetwise” knowledge Incarceration breaks the spirit. Longer tem rehabilitation prospects are made more difficult Being held up to public vilification is destructive, again inhibiting rehabilitation Juveniles in adult prisons are at greater risk of suicide Appearing in adult court demonstrably decreases the changes of rehabilitation

Factors to consider
 Overseas Jurisdiction – Official Age of Criminal Responsibility
Age Selected Country 7 8 10 12 13 14 15 16 18 Tasmania (OZ), Bangladesh, Ireland, Kuwait, Pakistan, Sudan, Zimbabwe Scotland Australia: most states, New Zealand, UK (except Scotland), some US-States Canada Chad, France, Poland Austria, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Libya, Romania, Russia, Fed. Rwanda, Slovenia, Yemen, Yugoslavia Czech Rep., Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sudan, Sweden Argentina, Portugal, Spain Belgium, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico

   

Reducing the age of criminality would be a breach of the UN’s Rights of the Child Locking children and young people away from society not only does not work but slows a lack of vision for a modern democratic society Punitive intervention (while increasing by advocated) does not work Prevention and early intervention work best78y677

Key Challenges
 Knowing what “success” looks like  Identifying what works to achieve success?  Transition – maintenance of newly learning

behaviour  Interface between the intervention/home/community/school  Accountability – who and for what  Resources – workforce, effective targeting

Three Facts
 Kids with chronic conduct/behavioural problems

are the single most costly group of adolescents to society
 1. Unresponsive to treatment 20-40% for routine


 2. 60% poor prognosis – adult criminals, antisocial

personality disorder, psychology, poor mental, psychological, physical health outcomes

 3. Inter-generationally transmitted

What Happens at the moment in New Zealand?
 Few evidenced based programmes  Most programmes that say they are evidenced

based are relying upon the overseas studies, not their own

 Most programmes employ staff that have

insufficient training

 Too many kids in residences

The Real Gaps in New Zealand
 1. Early intervention : not enough, poorly funded, no

evaluation, not enough evidenced based programmes
 2. Kids 8 – 12: lack of services, no evaluation, lack of

evidenced based programmes
 3. Females – lack of services, no evaluation, lack of

evidenced based programmes
 4. Maori and PI programmes - lack of services, no

evaluation, lack of integration of evidenced based programmes

So what should we do?
 Campaign on the issues in the media  Provide a counter story to the sensible sentencing


 Know our stuff and be honest with ourselves re

what we are providing as treatment programmes. Don’t kid ourselves that aroha and awhi will change these kids alone. IT WON’T!!

So what should we do?
 Fund what works as opposed to funding what

DOESN’T work

 Implement Evidenced Based Services

A range of services that is evidenced based and tailored to the risk and developmental needs of the child. Within this, it needs to be culturally sensitiven and remember FAMILY is central.

 Well trained staff

At the moment there is little, if any specialist training in NZ to work with kids with severe behavioural disorders

Case example of funding what works
 CYF and community treatment programmes adolescent

sex offender sector

 High risk area - long term financial investment in the

sector – 10 years ago undertaken

 Funding for a 3 year independent evaluation to be  Produced results indicating that what they did was not

perfect but as good, if not better than other international programmes. Provided a Blueprint of where services needed to go

What do we need?
 FAMILY BASED INTERVENTIONS  Multidimensional Therapeutic

Fostercare (MTFC)

 Multi-systemic Therapy  Functional Family Therapy

 Train staff to address criminogenic needs  Roll out FFT across the country to all services

 Train staff in individual strategies –ie aggression

replacement training  One off trainings might feel good but don’t produce long term changes in practice  Provide ongoing quality assurance training and supervision (e.g., Police PEACE interviewing model)  Train more Clinical Psychologists  Train Social Workers in Clinical Practice  Provide specialist training to RTLBs and teachers  And so on……….

NZ Herald

st 21

February 2009

 “The Government should be applauded

for addressing youth crime but the success of the proposed programmes hinges on the effective co-ordination of resourcing, probably best handled by a lead agency. It must invest in staff capable of handling issues not solved by a good bollocking”

Its all about you

and me……… nothing is impossible


Good afternoon & thanks for coming

“If it was easy it wouldn’t be worth doing”

- John F. Kennedy

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