The Conservative Party believe that lock-up facilities are not the answer to many of the youth’s problems.  Many youth are entering adulthood without the basic concepts of life, such as education, cooking, cleaning, hygiene, respect for themselves and for others, and an understanding of happy, healthy and prosperous families. This is currently enhanced through an increase in youth’s rights with lack of responsibilities and a decrease in parental rights.

The boot farm promotes life skills, and a hands on education. Less burden on taxpayers, and victims are  compensated. This is a much more holistic approach than the boot camp concept. Youth would be required to attend for 1 full year. Strict boundaries, regular routines, and separation from negative environments will be beneficial for troubled youth, as would gaining practical skills and self worth.

SHORT POLICY SUMMARY

POLICY

Overview

  • Education and counselling: for issues such as addiction, abuse, mental health issues, self harm, etc. would be ongoing for each youth.
  • Consequences: If a youth were not to follow through will this program, then the consequences would be that they serve time at one of the established MVCOT (previously known as CYFs), secure facilities.
  • Repeat absconders: may require a tracking device, such as an electronic bracelet.

Types of Farms- Youth Justice Farms:
– Farms for 11 to 14 year old boys (for repeat offenders and/or serious crimes)
– Farms for 11 to 14 year old girls (for repeat offenders and/or serious crimes)
– Farms for 15 to 18 year old boys (for Youth Justice youth)
– Farms for 15 to 18 year old girls (for Youth Justice youth)

Financial savings:
The Government currently spends millions of dollars on many unsuccessful ways of trying to reduce the problem of youth crime. One of the latest lock-up facilities built for Youth Justice youth, required a start-up cost of tens of million of dollars, and further millions to operate each year.

We propose the following option:
An initial purchase of the appropriate farms, or transfer from Landcorp, with the idea that they would eventuate towards becoming financially independent. This would be possible, due to funds being created from milking, and manufactured products produced via the programs. Much of the food needed for the farms would come from the farm, such as meat, milk, fruit and vegetables.  Any excess of these particular items would be sold to generate further income.

Youth Justice Farm- These farms will consist of the following:

    • .   Vegetable gardens (1 per youth)
      .   Miniature orchard (1 per youth)
      .   Various farm stock
      .   Milking shed
      .   Basic cabins (1 per youth)
      .   Communal kitchen, laundry, ablution block

Working towards self sufficiency:
.   Fruit and vegetables would be grown and used for consumption.
.   Free range chickens for eggs and chicken meat.
.   Milk from the dairy cows
.   Meat from farm stock
.   Income generated from milking to contribute towards running costs.

Programs for youth:
.   Daily fitness program
.   Woodwork program
.   Horticulture program
.   Agriculture program
.   Mechanics program
.   Counseling
.   Correspondence schooling
.   Life skills programs which include budgeting, meal planning, drivers licence, etc.

Staff:
.   Live in counselors available to youth upon request
.   Visiting Psychiatrist / Psychologist
.   Tutors for 3 hours schooling per day
.   Milking shed manager
.   Staff for other programs.

Roles and responsibilities for youth:

Vegetable garden:  Each youth will have their own small vegetable garden and greenhouse area for which they will be solely responsible for. The vegetables will be used for two purposes;
1. For the youth to cook as part of their meals
2. A required portion will be given to their victims as part of the consequences for their crimes.
The care and responsibility for each garden and greenhouse area will also be covered in the horticulture program and schooling.

Miniature Orchard:  Each youth will have their own small orchard, for which they will be solely responsible for. The orchard will be comprised of a variety of fruit trees. The fruit will be used for two purposes:
1. For the youth to eat
2. A required portion will be given to their victims as part of the consequences for their crimes.
The care and responsibility for each orchard will also be covered in the horticulture program and schooling.

Various farm stock:  The farms will have a variety of stock, such as chickens, milking cows, beef cows, sheep, farm dogs etc. Youth will be responsible for the care and well-being of all of the farm animals, with chores consisting of:
.  Milking cows
.  Shifting cattle
.  Feeding animals
.  Assisting with calving season
.  Collecting eggs from chickens
.  Hand rearing animals.

It has been proving that animals are fantastic therapy for children and youth. The Youth’s behavior will determine how much interaction they are allowed with the animals, and how much responsibility they will be given. Youth will be able to learn hands-on farming experiences such as milking, working a dairy and beef farm, shearing sheep and animal husbandry. These experiences will also be incorporated with theory schooling work, as part of the schooling program. Job opportunities will be available for youth as possible farm-hands throughout the country.

Schooling:  Each youth will be required to do 3 hours schooling per day. Tutors will be available. Subjects, (with credits available) will incorporate the farming lifestyle, such as horticulture, agriculture, animal husbandry, health and fitness, etc. Majority of schooling will be through The Correspondence School curriculum.  Youth who do not submit the required amount of schoolwork will do extra schooling in free time and weekends. Extra resources and tutoring will be sought to ensure each and every youth is brought up to age appropriate education standards.

Staff:  Staff will be sought from a range of areas, expertise and passions. All staff will need to first meet the requirements for working with youth, such as police checks, referees, medical checks, etc. All staff will also need to consent to random drug and alcohol testing.

Staff will include:
-Specialist MVCOT Caregivers (previously known as Specialist CYFs Caregivers).
-Tutors; Educational, mechanics, horticulturalists, agriculturalist, etc.
-Farmers (who have a heart for youth)
-Church/Community volunteers (all must be approved)
-Counselors

The farms for boys will concentrate on hiring positive male role models, to help counteract the fact that New Zealand continues to become a fatherless nation, which is severely impacting our youth.

Victims of youth crimes:
Youth have limited accountability in regards to their victims.

The farms will ensure:
.  Each youth is made fully aware of the effects their crime has had on the victims, via counseling
.  Each youth will be responsible for donating part of their vegetables and fruit to their victims on a regular basis, should this appeal to the victims of their crimes.

This promotes consequences for actions which is deeply lacking within NZ at  present.