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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 17. July 18th, 1973

Periodic Detention Centres

Periodic Detention Centres

Every city in which one or more periodic detention (p.d.) centres exist has an Advisory Committee whose function is "to establish and guide the administration of periodic detention in their city."6 Prospective members of these committees are selected by the Minister of Justice on the recommendation of District Probation Officers and are then invited by the Minister to join the Committee. Although the composition of these committees differ from area to area, there appears to be a standard structure. The chairman is always a magistrate. There are then: one police representative, one or two probation officers, one or two Social Welfare Department officers, one or two trade union representatives and two or three 'private citizens' who usually include one or more J.P.'s. Membership of the Advisory Committees is generally restricted to eight—ten people, a majority of whom have other links with the judicial system in one capacity or another.

The present Minister of Justice, Dr A.M. Finlay, has been reported as stating that "these Committees are representative of the community as well as of official services."6 To demonstrate exactly what pakehas really mean when they say "representative of the community" the committees in the Auckland area can be detailed. The Auckland City Committee has eight members of whom one is a Maori. The Otahuhu Committee, serving a community which includes the greatest urban concentration of Maoris in the country, has no Maori members at all. The Papakura p.d. centre Committee, again drawn from a community with a large non-pakeha population, is also wholly pakeha.