The Andrews Labor Government is helping Aboriginal young people in Victoria get the right support early on to engage with their community and stay out of the youth justice system.
Helping to tackle the overrepresentation of Aboriginal young people in Victoria’s youth justice system, $1.2 million will be delivered over four years to bolster Aboriginal Youth Support Services in areas of the state with high numbers of Aboriginal young people on youth justice orders.
Aboriginal young people constitute only one per cent of Victorian teenagers aged 10-17, but make up about 13 per cent of young people under youth justice supervision.
Aboriginal organisations that deliver health and community services, or Koori Youth Justice Programs, in Barwon, Inner Gippsland, Loddon, Mallee and North Eastern Melbourne are invited to make a submission to provide culturally sensitive casework and undertake community education activities.
The two successful Aboriginal organisations will provide culturally sensitive early intervention for vulnerable young people, working closely with local organisations in the identified regions that currently provide Youth Support Services.
Working with young people who have come into contact with Victoria Police, Youth Support Services help them take part in community activities, engage in education, training or employment, and find stable accommodation and improve their independent living skills.
The Labor Government is focused on early intervention to tackle issues before they escalate, reducing the overrepresentation of Aboriginal young people in the youth justice system.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“We know that keeping vulnerable young people from entering the youth justice system in the first place is in both the community and the young person’s best interest.”
“The overrepresentation of Aboriginal young people in our youth justice system is unacceptable. We are focussed on intervening early on to address the root causes of this complex issue.”
“We are working with Aboriginal communities to provide culturally sensitive and appropriate support to address the challenges facing young Aboriginal people.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020