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April 7, 2017

CALL FOR BACKUP: JUVENILE DETENTION IN AUSTRALIA

The Monthly magazine recently featured an essay by Russell Marks, titled "Call for backup."  The article provides an overview of the challenges faced by juvenile justice services across Australia, in recent times. There have been a number of incidents at youth detention centres around Australia, which raise questions about how to best respond to young people who commit crimes. The article provides an overview of the issues, which frequently come down to the balance between the therapeutic needs of young people in youth detention (the majority of whom have suffered from various degrees of trauma) with the public and media push for punishment.

Go to the article "Call for backup"

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November 4, 2016

YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE CHILD PROTECTION AND YOUTH JUSTICE SYSTEM

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare have published a report titled "Young people in child protection and under youth justice supervision 2014 - 15".  In this report, the authors utilised a data linkage methodology, to look at young people who are involved in both the child protection and youth justice system.  The data includes 30 402 young people aged 10 - 17 from Queensland, the ACT, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.  Young people in the child protection system were 14 times more likely to be involved in the youth justice system than the general population, and the reverse was also true - young people in the youth justice system were 15 times more likely to be involved in the child protection system than the general population.

Go to "Young people in child protection and under youth justice supervision 2014 - 15"



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June 30, 2016

AMENDMENTS TO QUEENSLAND YOUTH JUSTICE LEGISLATION

The Queensland State Parliament has recently passed a number of changes to the Youth Justice Act 1992.  The changes include removing "boot camps" as a sentencing option, restricting the media from reporting the names of young people involved in the youth justice system, ensuring that detention of young people is a last resort, and allowing courts to refer a young person to a youth justice conference.

To find out more about these changes download the legislation here (450KB PDF)



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December 6, 2013

BAIL AND REMAND FOR YOUNG PEOPLE IN AUSTRALIA

The Australian Institute of Criminology has published a report titled "Bail and remand for young people in Australia: A national research project".  There have been concerns about increasing rates of young people remanded in custody for several years now and this report sought to better understand the issue.  The report found that while rates of young people in detention on remand have increased, the rate of sentenced young people in detention has decreased over the same period.  The authors did find that there are some regions with higher rates of remand than others, and substantial differences in the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people remanded in custody when compared with other young people.

Download "Bail and remand for young people in Australia: A national research project" (2.8MB PDF)

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August 30, 2013

SNAPSHOT 2013: CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN QUEENSLAND

The Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian (CCYPCG) have published their annual "Snapshot 2013: Children and young people in Queensland".  The report pulls together national and state data on topic areas such as demographics, families, social and lifestyle issues, health, education, deaths, child protection and crime and justice.  The report provides a mixed picture.  There is some evidence that rates of teenage pregnancies continue to decline, and there continues to be a decrease in the proportions of children developmentally at risk when they commence schooling.  Areas of concern include the continued increase in the number of children and young people entering the child protection system, and increases in youth homelessness.

Download "Snapshot 2013: Children and Young People in Queensland" (2.1MB PDF)

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August 16, 2013

PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS AND COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

The Australian Human Rights Commission has published a report titled "People with mental health disorders and cognitive impairment in the criminal justice system: cost-benefit analysis of early support and diversion." The report looked at de-identified case studies of actual people with mental health problems and cognitive impairments, and considered the costs of their contact with the criminal justice system.  The authors found that young people with a mental illness or cognitive impairment were 6 times more likely to be in prison than a young person without one of these disabilities.  Unsurprisingly, they also found that for every dollar spent on early intervetion, between $1.40 and $2.40 would be saved in the longer term.

Download "People with mental health disorders and cognitive impairment in the criminal justice system: cost-benefit analysis of early support and diversion" (520KB PDF)

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August 9, 2013

YOUNG PEOPLE AGED 10-14 IN THE YOUTH JUSTICE SYSTEM

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released a report titled "Young people aged 10-14 in the youth justice system 2011-12". While there are only a small number of young people in this age range involved in the youth justice system, research indicates that this group are at risk of developing significant problems later in life. A concerning finding in this report was that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people aged 10-14 were 23 times as likely as non-Indigenous young people to be on a community based youth justice order, and 25 times as likely to be in youth detention.

Download "Young people aged 10-14 in the youth justice system 2011-12" (1.1MB PDF)

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April 5, 2013

REFORMING YOUTH JUSTICE IN QUEENSLAND

The Queensland state government have announced plans to reform the youth justice system.  They are currently seeking feedback and input from stakeholders via submissions or responses to their "Crime Survey". Given the significant interface between substance use and the criminal justice system, it is vital that the opinions and experiences of workers from the youth alcohol and other drug sector are heard in this process.

Find out more at the Department of Justice and Attorney-General's website

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February 1, 2013

POLICE: 12 FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW

The Youth Advocacy Centre has published a new fact sheet on their website titled 'Police - 12 Facts you need to know".  The fact sheet includes information for young people on their rights when having contact with police.  It includes plain English answers to questions like "Do police have to show their ID?" and "What if I am arrested?".  The fact sheet will be very useful to provide to young people who are having contact with the police.  The Youth Advocacy Centre website also contains a range of other fact sheets which deal with a massive range of legal issues young people might experience.

Check out "Police: 12 Facts you need to know" here

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November 30, 2012

INDIGENOUS YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM 2010-11

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare have published a bulletin looking at the numbers and characteristics of Indigenous young people involved in the juvenile justice system.  It's well known that while only around 5% of young Australians are Indigenous, in 2010-11 39% of young people involved with the youth justice system were Indigenous.  This figure is a slight reduction on previous years, with the biggest reduction occurring in the rate ratio for those in detention from 28 to 24.  The report considers further strategies to address the over-representation of Indigenous young people in the youth justice system in Australia.

Download "Indigenous young people in the juvenile justice system" (1.6MB PDF)

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