Youth Justice Review

Strategic policy framework for youth justice

Since 2010, there has been a steady decline in the number of young offenders. However, while there are fewer young offenders, on average they are being charged with more offences and there has been an increase in severe and recidivist offending.

The current government policy framework, A balanced approach to Youth Justice, is 16 years old. Due to this policy context and current system pressures, the Department of Health and Human Services commenced a review of its youth support, youth diversion and youth justice services (the review).

The review will:

  • aim to understand the needs of different groups of young people, including young offenders who are particularly vulnerable to exploitation and at heightened risk of involvement with the criminal justice system
  • consider the department’s programs and services (either directly provided or funded) for youth support, youth diversion and youth justice services, including statutory and non-statutory service responses to prevent and address youth offending in Victoria
  • consider opportunities to strengthen and position our services to address and reduce risk of offending into the future.

Penny Armytage and Professor James Ogloff will lead the review to provide appropriate expertise and an appropriate level of independence.

The review team are engaging with experts, academics, sector leaders and youth justice workers as well as children, young people and their families.

These consultations will help the team to better understand the needs of young people and their families, consider current systems challenges and determine how to position the Victorian system for longer-term reform.

The resulting youth justice framework will provide a forward looking, phased approach to reform of youth justice to deliver strengthened outcomes for young people and the community.

The review will be overseen by the Minister for Families & Children and Minister for Youth Affairs, Jenny Mikakos MP and the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Kym Peake, supported by an expert Project Advisory Group.

You can download the Terms of Reference for the review and the Project Advisory Group from this page.

For further information about the review please contact Jennifer Hyatt, Project Lead, email Jennifer.Hyatt@dhhs.vic.gov.au.

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