This is the third and final of three reports by the Sentencing Advisory Council examining crossover children in Victoria.
In this series of reports, the Council studied 5,063 children who were sentenced or diverted in the Children’s Court of Victoria from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2017 (‘the study group’) to identify the proportion who were the subject of at least one report to the Child Protection Service and the level of their child protection involvement. These children are considered to have dual involvement with the youth justice system and the child protection system; they are referred to in these reports as ‘crossover children’ or ‘crossover kids’.
Understanding the context of children’s offending is vital to identifying opportunities for early intervention to prevent vulnerable children from entering the youth justice system. When such children do enter the youth justice system, just and effective sentencing requires that courts are equipped with sufficient information about the child and the context of the child’s offending.
This report provides a summary of the sentencing policy issues that emerged from analysing and consulting on the findings of this project. The report does not make formal recommendations. Rather, it raises several suggestions for reform, subject to further investigation and consultation, in the context of discussing some of these policy issues.