The McGowan Government has announced the expansion of its Target 120 early intervention program to Albany and surrounding areas in the Great Southern region.
Target 120 is a $20.4 million initiative targeting young people who are at risk of becoming repeat offenders.
The program aims to improve community safety and achieve better outcomes for at-risk young people by connecting them and their families with relevant services and supports that meet their individual needs.
It brings resources together across agencies to assist young people with a recent history of offending behaviour to avoid ongoing involvement with the justice system.
Target 120 works to address factors that increase a young person’s likelihood of offending, including substance abuse, lack of housing, family and domestic violence, trauma, mental health issues and poor attendance at school.
It also helps to create safer and more connected communities by diverting potential young offenders away from antisocial and offending behaviour.
The program was introduced in Bunbury and Armadale in 2018, and subsequently expanded into Kununurra, Kalgoorlie and Mirrabooka last year.
More than 45 families have already been engaged across the existing locations, with two-thirds of participants having had no contact with police since joining. Dozens more children and young people have also directly benefited from the program because they are siblings of these participants.
In each location, agencies engage with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and other local not-for-profit providers that can provide culturally appropriate connection, support and mentorship for young people and their families.
Target 120 – a McGowan Government election commitment – will be implemented in multiple locations across Western Australia over this term of Government.
As stated by Community Services Minister Simone McGurk:
“Target 120 looks at young offenders as individuals – not as a group – and finds ways to reduce a young person’s likelihood of re-offending.
“By focusing on participants’ needs, strengths and family circumstances, the program works to help at-risk young people become valued members of their communities.
“It also provides guidance in life skills, health, peer dynamics and family wellbeing.
“The Department of Communities, WA Police, Department of Education, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, Department of Health and Department of Justice all work together through the program.
“This cross-agency approach ensures potential re-offenders can engage in education, training or employment, social and recreational activities, and other community-based supports.
“This latest expansion is an investment in the future of these young Western Australians and the Albany community.”