The Andrews Labor Government’s legislation to crackdown on youth crime passed Parliament yesterday.
The Children and Justice Legislation (Youth Justice Reform) Bill 2017 was introduced in May as part of Victoria’s largest ever suite of legislative measures to keep the community safe.
Under the Labor Government’s reforms, young offenders will face longer detention periods of up to four years, risk having their cases being heard in higher courts, and creates new offences for adults recruiting young people to crime.
There will be a presumption in favour of uplifting serious youth offences, such as aggravated home invasion and aggravated carjacking, from the Children’s Court to the higher courts for those aged 16 years or older.
There will also be a new presumption that young offenders who assault youth justice staff, damage property, escape or attempt to escape from a youth justice facility will serve their sentences on top of an existing period of detention, regardless of age.
This legislation will also create a Youth Control Order, a new sentencing option that will require young offenders to engage in education, work or training and may include curfews and anti-association conditions.
The Labor Government amended the Bill in the Legislative Council to provide for a review of the changes after the third anniversary of the commencement of all provisions in the Act.
Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Martin Pakula
“We’re pleased this important legislation to crack down on youth crime has passed the Parliament.”
“The community rightly expects young offenders to be punished for their crimes. Our reforms will hold young offenders to account and help keep the community safe.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“Under our reforms, young offenders who assault youth justice staff or damage property while in detention will face tougher consequences.”
“The Liberals attempt to scuttle this bill in the Legislative Council shows they are only interested in political posturing on crime.”