A Strategic Review of the New South Wales Juvenile Justice System: Report for the Minister for Juvenile Justice


Prepared for the New South Wales Minister for Juvenile Justice as a strategic review of the juvenile justice system, this report identifies and describes effective practice in juvenile justice. Changes in the juvenile justice system since reforms in the 1990s include a significant increase in the numbers of children and young people under control orders, a large growth in the numbers held on remand, continued overrepresentation of Indigenous young people in the juvenile justice system, and, despite a steady decline, a reoffending rate at approximately 57.3% overall (65.6% for those in custody). Other trends include a reduction in bipartisan support of changes around diversion and detention as a last resort, with an increased focus on ‘law and order’ and ‘getting tough on crime’. Other external drivers include growing community expectations of government, greater focus on whole-of-government approaches and the current financial pressure on the NSW Government. This report reviews the issues faced by the system, identifies its stakeholders and develops options for the future. It recommends a change in thinking, towards justice reinvestment as a cost-effective approach to juvenile justice.

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