Victoria’s Youth Justice system has undergone significant reform in recent years.This strategic plan aims to bring together all areas of government in partnership with the community – to tackle the underlying causes of their offending, rehabilitate those young people or divert them.
- The rate of youth offender incidents in Victoria has fallen almost 35 per cent since the year ending March 2010. Over the same period, the number of alleged youth offender incidents has also fallen by more than 26 per cent. Despite this reduction, there remain on average around 718 children and young people in Youth Justice on an average day.
- Youth Justice's interventions and supports need to respond to individual risks and needs so they can harness young people’s strengths, promote rehabilitation, minimise reoffending risks and protect the community.
- In Youth Justice, 18 per cent of young people identify as Aboriginal, 39 per cent identify as culturally and linguistically diverse Australians and 44 per cent identify as non-Aboriginal Australian.
- Youth justice aims to participate in the national review of the age of criminal responsibility through the Council of Attorneys-General. This process will include investigating alternatives to custody for this cohort, and in particular for Aboriginal children aged 10 to 14 years, who make up almost one quarter of all children aged 10 to 14 under supervision.
- Most Aboriginal young people will never be involved with Youth Justice, and the numbers of those who enter the system are falling, with fewer Aboriginal young people in the youth justice system in 2019 than five years ago. Nevertheless, the overrepresentation of Aboriginal young people in Youth Justice is unacceptably high and is an ongoing concern.