More than 200 young people who are in the youth justice system or considered at risk have graduated over the past 12 months from a Queensland Government program that successfully reduces reoffending.
Minister for Children and Youth Justice, Leanne Linard MP, said the Transition to Success (T2S) program experienced its largest ever number of graduates in 2021, after a boost in funding enabled the initiative to be expanded to 20 locations across the state.
“I’m delighted to see the program going from strength to strength since it began as a home-grown initiative over seven years ago. There have been 207 graduates in the past year alone,” Ms Linard.
“T2S works well because it offers alternative education and vocational training to young people in the youth justice system and those at risk of entering it as a way of helping them build a brighter future.
“Many of the participants had dropped out of mainstream schooling for a variety of reasons, but with the help of dedicated youth justice staff, they’re working to leave their past behind.
“The program is also working closely with businesses, councils, schools, training organisations and community groups on the next phase, which is to help the young people into jobs, work experience, training, or further education.
“The evidence shows that supporting young people to access education and employment pathways reduces offending, improves community safety, and this program is doing exactly that.”
In 2021, T2S participants completed a range of certificates across the state, including farm hand, horticulture, and construction courses. Participants graduated from the program in six different regions:
- Far North (Cairns, Cassowary Coast, Aurukun) – 29 graduates
- North (Townsville, Mount Isa, Mackay) – 27 graduates
- Central (Rockhampton, Hervey Bay, Bundaberg, Sunshine Coast) – 55 graduates
- Moreton (Caboolture, Redcliffe, Brisbane North and South) – 47 graduates
- South-west (Ipswich, Cherbourg, Western Districts, Toowoomba) – 34 graduates
- South-east (Logan and Gold Coast) – 15 graduates.
Ms Linard said while T2S focuses on building skills for the workplace, it also emphasises helping young people develop important life skills.
“The participants are learning attributes such as punctuality, communication and teamwork,” Ms Linard said.
“And where needed, they’re being connected to support services to help them with issues that could affect their capacity to stay in education or find work.
“This includes services that tackle drug and alcohol misuse or provide stable accommodation. This is particularly important as it is an opportunity to address some of the factors that can lead some young people to offend.”
A statewide evaluation of T2S in 2018 found more than two-thirds of graduates did not offend within 12 months of completing the course.
The 2020–21 State Budget allocated $7.43 million to deliver the T2S program.