The Youth Justice Custody pathway describes the phases of the youth justice process that involve the Youth Court and custody aspects of the legislation.
The police should only arrest a young person when they are satisfied doing so is necessary to:
Following the arrest of a child/young person the police may:
Following arrest, a police officer may place a child or young person into the custody of the chief executive when they have reasonable grounds for believing that:
If, following an arrest, a senior social worker and a senior sergeant or a commissioned officer are satisfied on reasonable grounds that a young person who has been arrested is likely to:
The young person may, on the issuing of a joint certificate, be detained in police custody for a period exceeding 24 hours and until appearance before the Court (s236(1)).
If following an arrest a young person is placed in the custody of the chief executive or held in police custody, they must be brought before the Youth Court as soon as possible. At that time a youth advocate will be appointed to represent the young person throughout the youth justice process. If the charge is not denied an FGC will be directed. The judge may also at this time make an order relating to the custody of the young person while they are on remand (CE custody (s238(1)(d)), police custody (s238(1)(e))).
The Youth Court shall not make an order under section 238(1)(d) for the detention of a young person in Oranga Tamariki custody unless it appears to the Court that, before the charge is determined:
This means that young people who are alleged to have offended should be detained in a secure environment. In doing so public safety and/or the safety of the young person themselves is preserved, ensuring that the young person can continue, or begin any educational and training opportunities.
The Youth Court shall not make an order under section 238(1)(e) for the detention of a young person in police custody unless it appears to the Court that, before the charge is determined:
While Oranga Tamariki has no legal role with young people in police custody, a social worker is allocated to undertake CKS screens and to ensure the young person is generally well and has access to basic amenities.
During the remand period the young person will have an FGC. It is also possible (and likely if in police custody) for their custody arrangements to be adjusted or ended by the Youth Court.
After sentencing the young person may also serve a custodial order of Supervision with Residence, prior to returning to the community on a supervision order. However, it is also possible that they will receive community based orders after being remanded in custody, or that they will be sentenced in the District or High Court for serious offending and transferred to an adult prison.
The following people are entitled to attend any Youth Court proceedings:
A designated youth court judge generally exercises jurisdiction in a Youth Court. However in some circumstances a district court judge may exercise jurisdiction.
Sometime a child/young person's first appearance in the Youth Court may be before a Justice of the Peace. This will usually occur when a judge is unavailable - it may be on weekends or days when the Court is not usually in session.
It is expected that the young person will attend the Court whenever they are summoned to do so. If the young person does not attend, the youth advocate may seek to have his/her attendance excused. The judge can order that issue of a Warrant to Arrest if it is considred that the young person did not attend without reasonable excuse.
If the young person is in the custody of the chief executive, it is the responsibility of their social worker to ensure that they attend.
When a young person appears in the Youth Court the judge will ascertain whether the young person denies the offence with which they have been charged.
If the offence is not denied, the Court will order an FGC to address the offending.
If the offence is denied, the Court will order a defended hearing.
At the conclusion of the defended hearing the offence will either be proven and a FGC will be directed for the young person or not be proven and matters will be concluded.
The Youth Court utilises a number of orders.
The Court must request and consider a written report from a social worker prior to making a supervision order, community work order, supervision with activity order or a supervision with residence order. A social work report is also required prior to transfer to District Court.