Budget 2021: Investing in Youth Diversion for a Safer Territory

NT Government

The Territory Labor Government is investing in more immediate youth diversion options to keep our communities safe and get our young people back on the right path.

Budget 2021-22 will see close to $10.8 million dedicated towards on-ground youth diversion options designed to prevent youth offending and hold families to account.

Two new measures in this year’s budget are court ordered Family Responsibility Agreements and Community Accountability Boards.

Family Responsibility Agreements:

  • These agreements will be court ordered and will make sure families are accountable and provide a home environment that does not contribute to youth offending, while also making sure they have the support they need to complete their responsibilities ordered by the Court.

Community Accountability Boards:

  • Community Accountability Boards will be made up of local business owners, community members, non-government organisations, local councils and Aboriginal elders who will make recommendations about the design and management of community based-youth justice programs, including community work order programs.
  • Boards will be setup in Darwin, Palmerston and Alice Springs, which will give advice and recommendations to the Minister for Territory Families and Urban Housing regarding youth justice programs and community expectations.

$3 million will be allocated towards ensuring we have the right systems in place and providers available for:

  • Implementing Family Responsibility Agreements;
  • Establishing Community Accountability Boards;
  • Expanding youth drop-in services in Alice Springs – The Hub is now operating 6pm Friday to 2pm Sunday in the school term and is expanding to 24 hours during school holidays;
  • Expanding victim offender conferencing – making sure more young people are completing victim offender conferencing and understanding the impact their offending behaviours have on victims and their community; and
  • Ongoing funding to establish the Barkly Youth Justice Facility to provide another alternative sentencing options.

$7.8 million worth of funds is also allocated towards:

  • Family Support Services grants which give organisations the ability to apply for funding to provide wrap around family programs; and
  • Implementation of face-to-face, after-hours youth outreach and engagement programs in Alice Springs Town Camps to support at-risk young people and deter anti-social behaviour.

Quotes attributed to the Minister for Territory Families and Urban Housing, Kate Worden:

“Supporting Territory young people and their families is important to the Territory Labor Government. We want to intervene early to stop crime and ensure young people have strong alternate paths.

“We are focussed on increasing parental responsibility to ensure parents support their children and change their own behaviours that can often contribute to youth offending.

“Funding is also available through this budget to get our youth back on the right path, including early intervention initiatives to figure out what is needed now not when the anti-social behaviour has occurred.”

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