There's a handful of Christchurch boys identified as likely to
embark on a career path which will shortly begin with petty crime
and lead them onto bigger and more destructive crimes.
However, there is also a dedicated group of people working with
those boys and their families to support them onto a more positive
and productive path.
CIAL has recently become a proud sponsor of the programme to
enable the intensive long-term interventionist support these boys
and their families require - and the whole city will benefit
Airport CEO Jim Boult says he's very impressed by the work being
done by the Re-focus programme, which is part of the Canterbury
Youth Development Programme.
"The Re-focus staff team sign up to "do whatever it takes' to
keep the boys at school, actively engaged and learning until they
reach Year 11." They pledge five years of intensive support for the
boy and his family, to keep them on the right track, through
education, sport, cultural activities and whatever else might be
needed," he says.
"It's not work for the faint-hearted, but is a hugely impressive
programme which will not only save children and their families, but
also truckloads of taxpayer dollars. Every boy identified at this
age as likely to end up in jail will cost you and me $10 million as
he fulfils that prediction - this is the cost to the country of
jail time for a lifetime criminal. The work by Re-focus will cost
$50,000 and keep that boy on the right side of the law.
"Sponsoring this work is a no-brainer for community-minded
organisations like ours. While this falls under the heading of
"social good" that CIAL supports, there is a real payback. Young
thugs are the main offenders in crimes against and racial abuse of
tourists, so we see our support as part of our work in the tourism