Indigenous youth justice programs evaluation


Diversion from the youth justice system is a critical goal for addressing the over-representation of Indigenous young people in the criminal justice system. In this report, four programs identified under the National Indigenous Law & Justice Framework as promising practice in diversion are evaluatied. The four programs, covering various stages of offending, (prevention, early intervention, diversion and tertiary intervention), are: Aboriginal Power Cup (South Australia), a sports-based program for engaging Indigenous young people in education; Tiwi Islands Youth Development and Diversion Unit (Northern Territory), a diversion program that engages Tiwi youth who are at risk of entering the criminal justice system in prevention activities; Woorabinda Early Intervention Panel Coordination Service (Queensland), a program to assess needs and make referrals for young Indigenous people and their families who are at risk or have offended; and Aggression Replacement Training (Queensland), a 10 week group cognitive-behavioural program to control anger and develop pro-social skills, delivered to Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth assessed as ‘at risk’ of offending or reoffending. Qualitative data suggested all four programs were valuable and addressing intended aims, but quantitative data were often lacking or not suitable to demonstrate change in reoffending.

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