Programs and Projects

The Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse encourages the sharing of information about programs and projects that are having success to reduce Indigenous over-representation in the criminal justice system and keep communities safe.

This section lists some examples of Indigenous justice programs and projects that have been formally evaluated and found to be successful (‘good practice’), or which are showing indications of success (‘promising practice’), in Australia or New Zealand.

***This page is currently under development. Additional programs will be profiled in the future.***

Community Patrols

Aboriginal community patrols are community-based services that operate a safe transport and outreach service for people who are on the streets late at night. They operate in many Australian jurisdictions and are referred to variously as night patrols, street patrols, community patrols, foot or bare-foot patrols, mobile assistance patrols or street beat programs.

The purposes of community patrols include to: minimise and/or prevent conflicts and anti-social behaviour; provide protection and safety to vulnerable people; prevent crime; improve co-operation between Indigenous people and relevant support agencies; and/ or provide diversion from potential contact with justice and criminal enforcement authorities. In some cases programs are targeted specifically at young people.

One of the first night patrols to be established was the Julalikari Night Patrol in Tennant Creek, Northern Territory. Set up in the mid-1980s, night patrols developed in the Northern Territory as a volunteer-led community response to anti-social behaviour and as a way of improving safety within Aboriginal communities.

By 2013 there were more than 150 community patrols, operating across most Australian jurisdictions. In 2014 the Australian Department of Attorney-General published a comprehensive report evaluating two different approaches to delivery of Community and Night patrol services for young people: the Safe Aboriginal Youth Patrol programs (SAYP) of NSW, and the Northbridge Policy project (NPP) sometimes also called the Young People in Northbridge project, in Perth, Western Australia.

For more information about Aboriginal community patrols see:

Other programs and projects

For more examples of Indigenous justice initiatives that are working to reduce Indigenous over-representation in prison and keep communities safe:

If you have an example of a program and project you would like the Clearinghouse to consider profiling on this site please let us know by emailing