Evidence shows that young people are more likely to be victims of crimes than perpetrators yet they are more likely to be unfairly portrayed as a threat to the general public. The majority of young people are living successful lives untouched by the justice system. Young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, are disproportionately represented in the legal system.

AYAC recognises that incarceration does not reduce offending and may even increase the risk. There are many young people currently in detention who are unsentenced. What is most needed is adequate resourcing and support for crime prevention programs and strategies that address the social causes of much offending behaviour.

AYAC believes that…

  • Detention should only be an option of last resort when diversionary methods have failed.
  • No young person should ever be detained in an adult prison.
  • Bail laws should be amended so that no young person is held in detention on remand without sentencing.

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