Programs and Family Support for Smarter Youth Justice position

NT Government

The Territory Labor Government is breaking the cycle of youth crime through early prevention and diversion programs.

Territory Families, Housing and Communities is developing an accelerated program of family supports to keep children out of youth detention.

The Territory Labor Government is breaking this cycle by raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12 years old, with legislation set to be debated during the November Parliamentary Sittings.

From January to November this year 591 youth took part in youth diversion programs, with evidence showing that 60% of youth will not go on to reoffend.

Currently the Government is engaging with 19 providers across 60 communities to provide:

Back on track – a program that supports young people to make safe and responsible decisions to divert them away from the youth justice system.Youth diversion – programs delivered by non-government organisations to deliver services, programs and activities for young people subject to youth diversion.Camps – Early intervention programs that are delivered on country and are designed to reduce offending behaviour and improve cultural connectedness.Restorative conferencing – provides a forum for victims of crime to speak with young people so they can understand the impact of their offending.The Territory Government is also investing $40 million over the next five years through to deliver early circuit breaker parenting support programs.

Over the coming months, government agencies and service providers will continue to work together to expand these programs and enhance the response to specifically target children 11 years and under and their parents when they show signs of engaging at, at risk behaviour.

The Government is also working to increase accommodation options for children who cannot immediately be returned safely to their homes.

Quotes attributed to Chief Minister Natasha Fyles:

“Youth diversion is an important strategy to ensure young people are held accountable for their actions and have opportunities to change their behaviour.

“This Government understand the evidence – the sooner a child enters the justice system they are most likely going to reoffend. All Territory children deserve a chance to have fulfilled lives.

“Territorians deserve to feel safe and that’s why we are focusing on delivering positive, generational change that will benefit our children, their families and the wider community.”

Quotes attributed to the Minister for Territory Families Kate Worden:

“Supporting Territory young people and their families is important to the Territory Labor Government. We want to get in early to stop crime and ensure young people have strong alternate paths.

“We are focussed on increasing parental responsibility to ensure parents support their children and change their own behaviours that can often contribute to youth offending.”

Northern Territory Government

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