Source: (2002) Prepared for the New Zealand Police, Ministry of Justice. Wellington, New Zealand: Victoria University of Wellington, The Crime and Justice Research Centre.

A prominent feature of the New Zealand youth justice system is the use of diversionary procedures. This report presents research into decisions taken by police in determining how to respond to youth offending – in particular, decisions with respect to diversionary plans (sometimes known as informal sanctions or alternative actions). Collected from forms filled out by Youth Aid officers from August 2000 to May 2001 (see one of the appendices for the form), the research data came from a representative number of areas in New Zealand. Data included the characteristics of the offenders, the nature of their offending, details of their background and history of involvement with police and social services, and the nature of the responses made to their offending. Numerous statistical tables and charts throughout the report assist with classification and analysis of relevant data. One of the purposes of the research and report was to identify best practices for police in responding to youth offending; the authors summarize those best practices near the end of the report.