Violent offending by young people in New Zealand:  perception versus reality Presented by: Dr Anna Duncan, Senior Advisor,...
Presentation overview <ul><li>Media portrayals  </li></ul><ul><li>Statistical overview </li></ul><ul><li>Public perception...
“If it bleeds it leads!” <ul><li>Media portrayals are conveyed in newspapers / TV / radio / video / books and the internet...
Examples of media headlines
Effects of media portrayals <ul><li>Foster moral panics </li></ul><ul><li>Construct crime waves </li></ul><ul><li>Selected...
Statistical overview: Police apprehensions 15% 10% Proportion of total Raw # of youth violence apprehensions  ↑ 47.5% in l...
Statistical overview: violence apprehension rates
Statistical overview: violence apprehension rates by offence type
Statistical overview: prosecutions for violence offences <ul><li>In 2006, there were 6,202 prosecuted cases involving youn...
Statistical overview: self-report data <ul><li>Youth 2000 survey: Violence and NZ young people </li></ul><ul><ul><li>49% o...
Public perceptions of youth offending <ul><li>Public perceptions and understandings of youth offending and youth justice a...
Implications for practice <ul><li>Risk factors for violent offending include: </li></ul><ul><li>- Behavioural difficulties...
What are your experiences? <ul><li>Are your caseloads for violent offences increasing? </li></ul><ul><li>What kinds of vio...
References <ul><li>Dowler, K., Fleming, T. & Muzzatti, S. (2006)  Constructing crime: media, crime, and popular culture.  ...
For further information or discussion please feel free to contact us: Dr Anna Duncan –  [email_address] (currently on pare...
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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)

  1. 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. 2. Presentation overview <ul><li>Media portrayals </li></ul><ul><li>Statistical overview </li></ul><ul><li>Public perceptions </li></ul><ul><li>Implications for practice </li></ul><ul><li>What are your experiences? </li></ul>
  3. 3. “If it bleeds it leads!” <ul><li>Media portrayals are conveyed in newspapers / TV / radio / video / books and the internet </li></ul><ul><li>Content analyses show that media are saturated with accounts of crime, control and criminal justice </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>Media portrayals of crime differ from the picture portrayed by official crime statistics </li></ul><ul><li>Media tend to focus on individual cases without examining the broader context of offending </li></ul>
  4. 4. Examples of media headlines
  5. 5. Effects of media portrayals <ul><li>Foster moral panics </li></ul><ul><li>Construct crime waves </li></ul><ul><li>Selected nature of crime reporting tends to play on public fears </li></ul><ul><li>Long-running and controversial debate on whether violence in the media ‘causes’ violent behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>Increase in reality and forensic drama has blurred lines between crime news and crime entertainment </li></ul>
  6. 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. 7. Statistical overview: violence apprehension rates
  8. 8. Statistical overview: violence apprehension rates by offence type
  9. 9. Statistical overview: prosecutions for violence offences <ul><li>In 2006, there were 6,202 prosecuted cases involving young people (a 5% increase from 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>24% of these cases involved violence offences </li></ul><ul><li>Outcomes of these cases: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>7% - Convicted in District or High Court </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>27% - Proved in Youth Court </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>27% - s.282 discharge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>39% - Not proved </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Statistical overview: self-report data <ul><li>Youth 2000 survey: Violence and NZ young people </li></ul><ul><ul><li>49% of male students and 32% of female students reported that they had physically hurt someone else, on purpose, in the last year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>28% of males and 15% of females reported being in a serious physical fight in the last year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>9% of males and 3% of females reported carrying a weapon (e.g. a knife) in the last year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3% of males and 1% of females reported using a weapon in the last year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students who were victims of violence were more likely to be the perpetrators of violence </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Public perceptions of youth offending <ul><li>Public perceptions and understandings of youth offending and youth justice are largely informed by the media </li></ul><ul><li>Public knowledge of trends in youth offending and of youth justice systems is poor </li></ul><ul><li>Opinion polls show that many people: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>over-estimate the amount and seriousness of youth offending </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>think youth justice systems and sentencing practice are too lenient </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>favour punitive responses to youth offending </li></ul></ul><ul><li>However, opinion polls ask simple questions that provide little context, which tend to evoke quite punitive responses </li></ul><ul><li>More in-depth research, where people are given more information about specific cases, evoke less punitive responses favouring prevention and rehabilitation </li></ul>
  12. 12. Implications for practice <ul><li>Risk factors for violent offending include: </li></ul><ul><li>- Behavioural difficulties e.g. conduct disorder </li></ul><ul><li>- Mental and other health related issues </li></ul><ul><li>- Drug and alcohol abuse </li></ul><ul><li>- Being a victim of violence </li></ul><ul><li>Good assessment is crucial to determining appropriate intervention </li></ul>
  13. 13. What are your experiences? <ul><li>Are your caseloads for violent offences increasing? </li></ul><ul><li>What kinds of violence are you seeing? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you think are the drivers of the increase in youth apprehensions for violence? </li></ul><ul><li>What kinds of responses are needed? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Locally? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nationally? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Any other thoughts? </li></ul>
  14. 14. References <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Hough, M. & Roberts, J.V. (2004) Youth crime and youth justice: public opinion in England and Wales. Bristol: The Policy Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Maxwell, G. (1999) Youth offending: putting the headlines in context. www.justice.govt.nz?youth/media/rates1099.html accessed on 18 June 2007. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Nacro (2001) Youth Crime Briefing: Public opinion and youth justice. London: Nacro. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Soler, M. (2001) Public Opinion on Youth, Crime and Race: A guide for advocates. United States: Youth Law Centre </li></ul><ul><li>Police official statistics. www.stats.govt.nz </li></ul><ul><li>Youth Court statistics. www.justice.govt.nz </li></ul>
  15. 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/

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