The Government is giving a $2 million boost to agencies trying to prevent crime before it happens.
The money will allow agencies access to high-quality data and analytics so they can best decide where to focus their efforts.
"This approach will help authorities build a clearer picture of who is experiencing what crimes and where, patterns of offending behaviour, and how justice sector programmes and services could be modified for maximum impact," Justice Minister Amy Adams said on Tuesday.
She said it would ensure justice sector agencies got information to better plan, predict and invest.
"It will also enable them to better co-ordinate with areas like health, education, and social services to try and prevent today's vulnerable young people ever becoming offenders of the future."
Hard numbers were now being brought to the long-held beliefs that some of our most prolific criminals started at a young age, Ms Adams said.
One study of people born in New Zealand in 1978 revealed 80 percent of convictions went to those who first convicted before the age of 20.
"The study confirms that if we are going to more effectively prevent people from entering into a life of crime, we need to reach them as early as possible," Ms Adams said.