Residential Youth Justice Facilities prepare for opening

NT Government

The Lawler Labor Government is continuing to deliver its common sense plan to lower crime and reduce youth offending, with the first Residential Youth Justice Facility to open in Tennant Creek this week.

The Residential Youth Justice Facility based at Juno, about seven kilometres east of the town, will be able to house up to six young Territorians who are part of the justice, while a purpose-built facility is under construction.

A similar facility in Darwin will be operational next month. From July, up to 16 young people can be ordered by the Youth Court to the Darwin program, which will be delivered by First Step Development Enterprises.

Work is currently underway to establish a facility at Katherine, while Alice Springs courts can already sentence young people to an existing service at Gap Road that is currently delivering Supported Accommodation Services. The Gap Road Facility will be in place until June 2025 when a new residential youth justice facility is expected to be constructed.

Tenders for the delivery of programs in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek will be released this week. Community Youth Justice Officers, program and accommodation support staff, teachers and Vocational Education and Training (VET) trainers will collaborate on the delivery of programs.

The residential youth justice facilities model is designed to hold young offenders to account for their actions; and to provide them with pathways and training opportunities.

In all facilities young people will be engaged in year-round education and training that is most suitable to the local job market and employment opportunities, while also staying accountable to their bail conditions. If conditions are broken the youth will go back before the courts, and sent to Youth Detention centres.

The Lawler Labor Government’s common sense plan to reduce crime includes a record $570 million boost to the Police budget over five years.

This record budget boost will deliver 200 more police officers – taking the sworn officer target to 1842 – and 71 non-sworn operational support staff across the Territory. It will also deliver a dedicated police infrastructure program that will invest $125 million to build new stations, watch houses and other critical infrastructure to keep Territorians safe.

Quotes attributable to Chief Minister Eva Lawler:

“Young Territorians who are part of the justice system, will be held accountable for their actions and we will ensure they get proper education and training so they have the best chance of turning their life around and getting out of crime and into the workforce.”

“These residential youth justice facilities ensure that there are consequences for crime while delivering training and skills to Territory kids to try and reduce the cycle of re-offending.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Territory Families Ngaree Ah Kit:

“Our residential youth justice facilities are an intervention initiative designed to help young people reset their lives in a supportive environment where they can gain the skills, education, and qualifications that enable them to be work-ready, productive members of our communities.

“The residential youth justice facilities will deliver practical training in industries such as construction, horticulture, cooking and conservation.”

Northern Territory Government

/Public Release. View in full here.