Creating Safer Communities: Back on Track – Expanding Youth Justice Conferencing & Support for Victims

The Territory LaborGovernment is putting victims first and ensuring that young people who do thewrong thing face consequences, including facing the impact of their offending.

From this year, $900,000 will be invested into expanding court-orderedyouth justice conferencing and $1.25M will be invested into Victims of Crime NTover five years to deliver a victim support program.

The announcement is part of the Territory Labor Governments Back on Track plan, whichtackles youth crime by giving police and courts the ability to get kids off thestreet and into programs like boot camps to get their lives back on track.

Backon Track expands court ordered youth justice conferencing, which forces offendersto sit before victims and face up to the consequences of their actions.

Research has identified this as a very effective method of deterringrecidivist offending.

A new partnership with the Community Justice Centre and the NTGovernment will see youth justice conferencing expanded to Alice Springs andTennant Creek, where it is currently not available.

The second phase of the partnership will include a two year pilotprogram in three remote communities, working with elders groups and law andjustice groups to build a youth justice conferencing model that aligns withLocal Decision Making and can create local jobs.

As stated by Minister forTerritory Families, Dale Wakefield.

Youngpeople who do the wrong thing must face the consequences because allTerritorians have the right to be safe.

Backon Track includes special programs which have proven to stop repeat offenderscommitting more crime, and includes expanding court ordered youth justiceconferencing, which forces offenders to sit before victims and face up to theconsequences of their actions.

It also gives victims ofcrime closure, by offering them the chance to face their offenders and ensurethat the impact of the crime is heard.

Quotesfrom Community Justice Centre Director Troy Degenhardt.

The conferencingprocess can be confronting, emotional, transformative and powerful; and willquite often lead to a higher level of satisfaction for all participants.

Oneof the most valuable considerations of conferencing comes from empowerment to empower a victim to have their say and seek suitable reparation fora crime while also empowering an offender to take ownership, navigate elementsof shame and to ultimately demonstrate through action the righting of a wrong.

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