25 Jul 2011

New unit for serious youth offenders

4:28 pm on 25 July 2011

A secure service for serious youth offenders with intellectual disabilities is being launched in Wellington on Monday.

The Te Aruhe national forensic youth service will be officially launched by the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board.

The Ministry of Health says that until now these offenders, aged 12 to 17, were housed with adults, in breach of a United Nations convention.

The ministry says that's unfortunate, but it had no other option. It says the new facility will be for offenders whom Child Youth & Family cannot contain.

Te Aruhe national forensic youth service is located next to a similar adult facility at Kenepuru hospital in Porirua. The ministry says the six-bed facility will focus on rehabilitation. It is the first for youth in the country.

Capital & Coast DHB says the event amounts to a red-letter day.