Youth justice secure residences: a report on the international evidence to guide best practice and service delivery

This report was commissioned by the Ministry as part of ongoing work to improve the quality of services for young offenders in Child, Youth and Family’s youth justice secure residences.

The report reviews the international evidence about best practice in the delivery of secure residential care for young offenders. It summarises the key understandings and conclusions from the literature about what appears to work best for these young people.

The report was prepared by Associate Professor Ian Lambie and other researchers from the University of Auckland.

This report will be of interest to practitioners and policy makers.

In particular the report:

  • provides an overview of New Zealand’s youth justice secure residences and the young people in their custody.
  • looks at secure residential care for young offenders in other selected countries.
  • reviews the evidence about models of care, assessment, rehabilitative programmes, cultural programmes, education services, crisis management, workforce, physical environment, and transitions from care for young offenders in youth justice secure residences.
  • looks at community-based ‘step-down’ services post residence.
  • rates interventions based on the evidence about their effectiveness.
  • summarises what appears to work best for this client population.

This report is one of two such literature reviews. The second report looks at best practice in the delivery of secure residential care for children and young people with care and protection needs.

Two separate reviews were prepared because of differences between the client populations, why they enter secure residential care, and the evidence base about what works. However, given the similar backgrounds and needs of both populations, there is cross-over in the content presented.

Please email us if you would like a copy of this document in a different format.

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