The Government looks likely to have to back away from plans for Youth Court judges to order young offenders into mentoring programmes with volunteer mentors.

Mentoring programme organisers attending a national conference in Mangere yesterday had mixed views on the proposed new youth mentoring court orders, which are in the Government's "Fresh Start" youth justice reform bill now before Parliament's social services committee.

Russell Beal of Family Works Otago said he had worked with young people directed to attend programmes when he was a probation officer, and he believed it would be possible to direct offenders into mentoring schemes.

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