NSW Government get smart on justice

AYAC welcomes the recent annoucement by the New South Wales Government of Youth on Track – a program aimed at addressing the underlying causes of young people’s contact with the justice system.

The program facilitates intensive and flexible support for people as young as 10, and their families, in addressing issues such as family breakdown, mental health, alcohol and other drugs and disengagement from education, employment, and the community, to mention a few.

Young people coming into contact with the system are some of Australia’s most vulnerable. And it is widely accepted that detaining young people doesn’t work.

A retrospective measure, the detention of young people is expensive, does not act as a deterrent, is ineffective in addressing the underlying causes for contact with the justice system in the first place, and is in fact positively correlated with higher rates of reoffending behaviour.

Young people have inherent strength and resilience. Young people lack the opportunities, not capacity, to reach their full potential. Youth on Track is a positive move by government in improving the wellbeing of both Australia’s young people and their communities.

AYAC hopes the NSW Government continue to utilise concepts that are known to be effective when working with young people: the establishment of trust and relationships through services that are sustainable, and long term.

We applaud the progress made, and hope to see smarter justice for young people enacted throughout Australia.

To read more about the program go to: http://www.youthontrack.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/yot/index.html