How to Reduce Youth Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour by Going Round in Circles

Published: February 2009

Mackenzie outlines a scheme to provide greater adult and community support young people at risk of falling into a life of crime and young offenders. Ippr’s research has already shown that the most prolific criminals begin offending between the ages of 10 and 13, and that a lack of adult support is a key risk factor for young people turning to crime. Simon MacKenzie has proposed creating mentoring circles for these young people, based on a model already used in Canada. The aim of the circles to prevent young people offending in the first place, and to prevent reoffending by young people who have already committed a crime. Each ‘circle’ would consist of three to five adult volunteers who would meet regularly with the young person to offer mentoring, and support with problems that could lead to offending and re-offending. The cost of running each circle would be £9,000 per year, compared to the annual cost of £40,000 for a young person in the criminal justice system.

Authors / Editors

Prof Simon Mackenzie

Victoria University of Wellington

Research Themes

Young People and Youth Justice

Criminal Justice Process and Institutions