Violent offending by young people in New Zealand: 'Perception versus reality' - Zoey Caldwell, Dr Anna Duncan, Leigh McPhail (Ministry of Justice)
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Violent offending by young people in New Zealand: 'Perception versus reality' - Zoey Caldwell, Dr Anna Duncan, Leigh McPhail (Ministry of Justice)






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Violent offending by young people in New Zealand: 'Perception versus reality' - Zoey Caldwell, Dr Anna Duncan, Leigh McPhail (Ministry of Justice) Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Violent offending by young people in New Zealand: perception versus reality Presented by: Dr Anna Duncan, Senior Advisor, Youth Justice Team Leigh McPhail, Advisor , Youth Justice Team Zoey Caldwell, Advisor, Youth Justice Team
  • 2. Presentation overview
    • Media portrayals
    • Statistical overview
    • Public perceptions
    • Implications for practice
    • What are your experiences?
  • 3. “If it bleeds it leads!”
    • Media portrayals are conveyed in newspapers / TV / radio / video / books and the internet
    • Content analyses show that media are saturated with accounts of crime, control and criminal justice
    • A Canadian study found that half of newspaper and TV news coverage and two-thirds of radio items were focused on crime, deviance and control
    • Media portrayals of crime differ from the picture portrayed by official crime statistics
    • Media tend to focus on individual cases without examining the broader context of offending
  • 4. Examples of media headlines
  • 5. Effects of media portrayals
    • Foster moral panics
    • Construct crime waves
    • Selected nature of crime reporting tends to play on public fears
    • Long-running and controversial debate on whether violence in the media ‘causes’ violent behaviour
    • Increase in reality and forensic drama has blurred lines between crime news and crime entertainment
  • 6. Statistical overview: Police apprehensions 15% 10% Proportion of total Raw # of youth violence apprehensions ↑ 47.5% in last 10 years Youth violence apprehension rate (population adjusted) ↑ 25.3% 4,655 3,156 Violence apprehensions 30,451 31,027 Total apprehensions 2006 1997 Apprehensions of 14-16 year olds
  • 7. Statistical overview: violence apprehension rates
  • 8. Statistical overview: violence apprehension rates by offence type
  • 9. Statistical overview: prosecutions for violence offences
    • In 2006, there were 6,202 prosecuted cases involving young people (a 5% increase from 2004)
    • 24% of these cases involved violence offences
    • Outcomes of these cases:
      • 7% - Convicted in District or High Court
      • 27% - Proved in Youth Court
      • 27% - s.282 discharge
      • 39% - Not proved
  • 10. Statistical overview: self-report data
    • Youth 2000 survey: Violence and NZ young people
      • 49% of male students and 32% of female students reported that they had physically hurt someone else, on purpose, in the last year
      • 28% of males and 15% of females reported being in a serious physical fight in the last year
      • 9% of males and 3% of females reported carrying a weapon (e.g. a knife) in the last year
      • 3% of males and 1% of females reported using a weapon in the last year
      • Students who were victims of violence were more likely to be the perpetrators of violence
  • 11. Public perceptions of youth offending
    • Public perceptions and understandings of youth offending and youth justice are largely informed by the media
    • Public knowledge of trends in youth offending and of youth justice systems is poor
    • Opinion polls show that many people:
      • over-estimate the amount and seriousness of youth offending
      • think youth justice systems and sentencing practice are too lenient
      • favour punitive responses to youth offending
    • However, opinion polls ask simple questions that provide little context, which tend to evoke quite punitive responses
    • More in-depth research, where people are given more information about specific cases, evoke less punitive responses favouring prevention and rehabilitation
  • 12. Implications for practice
    • Risk factors for violent offending include:
    • - Behavioural difficulties e.g. conduct disorder
    • - Mental and other health related issues
    • - Drug and alcohol abuse
    • - Being a victim of violence
    • Good assessment is crucial to determining appropriate intervention
  • 13. What are your experiences?
    • Are your caseloads for violent offences increasing?
    • What kinds of violence are you seeing?
    • What do you think are the drivers of the increase in youth apprehensions for violence?
    • What kinds of responses are needed?
      • Locally?
      • Nationally?
    • Any other thoughts?
  • 14. References
    • Dowler, K., Fleming, T. & Muzzatti, S. (2006) Constructing crime: media, crime, and popular culture. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, October 2006 , Vol 48, No 6 pp837-850.
    • Doyle, A. (2006) How not to think about crime in the media. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, October 2006 , Vol 48, No 6 pp837-850.
    • Fleming, T.M., Watson, P.D., Robinson, E., Ameratunga, S., Dixon, R., Clark, T.C., Crengle, S. (2007) Violence and New Zealand Young People: Findings of Youth 2000 – A National Secondary School Youth Health and Wellbeing Survey. Auckland: The University of Auckland.
    • Hough, M. & Roberts, J.V. (2004) Youth crime and youth justice: public opinion in England and Wales. Bristol: The Policy Press.
    • Maxwell, G. (1999) Youth offending: putting the headlines in context. accessed on 18 June 2007.
    • Moffitt, T.E., Silva, P.A., Lynam, D.R., Henry, B. (1994) Self-reported delinquency at age 18: New Zealand’s Dunedin Multi-Disciplinary Health and Development Study . In J. Junger-Tas & G.J. Terlouw (Eds.) The International self-report delinquency project (pp. 356-371). Den Haag; Ministry of Justice of the Netherlands.
    • Nacro (2001) Youth Crime Briefing: Public opinion and youth justice. London: Nacro.
    • Roberts, J.V. (2004) Public Opinion and the Evolution of Juvenile Justice Policy in Western Nations . In: M. Tonry and A. Doob (eds.) Youth Crime and Youth Justice: Comparative and Cross-National Perspectives. Crime and Justice. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    • Soler, M. (2001) Public Opinion on Youth, Crime and Race: A guide for advocates. United States: Youth Law Centre
    • Police official statistics.
    • Youth Court statistics.
  • 15. For further information or discussion please feel free to contact us: Dr Anna Duncan – [email_address] (currently on parental leave) Leigh McPhail – [email_address] Zoey Caldwell – [email_address] www.justice.govt/youth-justice/