Cutting Youth Crime: 44 Youths in Back on Track Program

Every Territorian deserves to feel and be safe.

Today there are 44 young people participating in Back on Track, the Territory’s new program to cut youth crime.

Back on Track is designed to prevent offending and reduce reoffending, ensure that offenders face the impact of their actions, and are put on a pathway to become productive members of our community.

For the first time, children under the age of criminal responsibility can be referred to services specifically designed for their age and level of risk.

The 44 participants from across the Territory include:

  • 18 young people in Darwin including 13 young people aged 14-17 years and six young people aged 8-13 years
  • 4 young people in Katherine including two young people aged 14-17 years and two young people aged 8-13 years
  • 10 young people in Alice Springs including eight young people aged 14-17 years and two young people aged 8-13 years
  • 11 young people in Tennant Creek including nine young people aged 14-17 years and two young people aged 8-13 years
  • 1 young person from Nhulunbuy aged 14-17 years

The program involves four elements:

  • Element 1 – Assessment and case management
  • Element 2 – Consequences, reparation and giving back to the community
  • Element 3 – Life skills and cultural connection/Family capacity and responsibility
  • Element 4 – Vocational education and training leading to employment/Re-engagement with education

All of the young people are currently undertaking assessment and receiving case management, as part of the first element of the Back on Track program.

Many young people have also started to participate in the other elements of the program which can be undertaken concurrently.

As stated by Minister for Territory Families, Dale Wakefield

“The Territory Labor Government’s Back on Track program tackles youth crime by giving Police and Courts the ability to get young people into youth diversion programs that are proven to reduce crime – such as victim conferencing.

“The 44 young people who are currently participating in the Back on Track program are working with our partner organisations who are experienced in working with at-risk young people to reduce offending and face the impacts of their actions.

“We have a comprehensive plan to cut crime in the Territory. The only plan the CLP have is to cut funding for youth services and programs that keep our community safer.”

As stated by Back on Track service provider Australian Childhood Foundation’s CEO, Joe Tucci

“Back on Track is one of the most important initiatives in youth justice in the country. It uses knowledge drawn from neuroscience to understand the backgrounds, needs and drivers of young people’s behaviour.

“It then helps to develop plans that connect young people back to their family and community. Back on Track gives young people a real chance of changing the story of their lives now and into the future.”

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