Youth justice in Western Australia


This paper seeks to uncover ways to improve youth justice outcomes in Western Australia. Due to the focus on adult correctional initiatives there has been a lack of focus on youth offender needs as well as a decreasing commitment to the principle of diversion by Police. Diversion is about choosing the least intrusive option when dealing with young offenders. A lack of clarity regarding the role of youth justice has led to a decline in the quality of support for children and families at risk, which has, in turn, undermined confidence within police regarding the benefits of diversion from the system. The report identifies areas for priority action and also discusses the role of the courts. It cites the success of the Koori Children’s court in Victoria and supports a more ‘interventionist’ or ‘solution focused’ approach, where the court seeks to ensure agencies fulfil their responsibilities to help young people at risk and their families.

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