The Victorian Government has released a lengthy report into the Youth Justice system and has accepted or accepted in principle all 126 of the report’s recommendations. The report, Meeting needs and reducing offending: Youth Justice review and strategy, was commissioned in mid-2016. According to the findings laid out in the executive summary, Victoria’s current youth justice system is “a system in crisis”. The report calls for “bold and innovative” action, and significant structural and cultural reform.
In a media release announcing the release of the report, Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos said:
“This is the first comprehensive review of Victoria’s youth justice system in 17 years. It will help us build a stronger and more effective system – after four years of neglect by the former Liberal Government…
This investment will make our community safer by reducing recidivism, strengthening our facilities and establishing programs that work, delivered by a better equipped workforce.”
The report recommends a standalone act for youth justice be created, saying:
“The current legislation, embedded in a child welfare act, does not meet the challenges of a contemporary youth justice system. There is a need for a single, modern and responsive legislative framework for youth justice.”
The report recommends the new Act:
The report highlights a number of problems within the system, and makes recommendations under them. These problems include:
In the media release, the Victoria Government announces it will make an initial investment of $50 million over four years to respond to 42 priority recommendations, including:
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