Cutting Youth Crime: First Youth Bush Camps Begin in Central Australia

Two groups of at-risk young people will participate in the firstBack on Track youth bush camps thismonth.

The camps target young people who have a high risk of offendingor reoffending, so that they can face the consequences of their actions and puton a path away from a life of crime.

Non-profit organisations Creating a Safe, Supportive Environment(CASSE) and MacDonnell Regional Council Youth Services (MacYouth) will each runtheir first camp this month. The programs will include specialist case managementto change behaviour.

CASSE programShields for Living, Tools for Life – The first group, made up of sixyoung people and their families from Willowra departed on Wednesday 14 Octoberto camp on country outside of Willowra. The program includes five days oncountry and six months of intensive therapy and workshops. CASSE will holdeight camps for up to 30 young people each year in partnership with the MensTjilirra Movement.

MacYouthprogram The Right Track The first MacYouth camp washeld in the first week of October on country near Santa Teresa for five youngpeople and their families. The camp caters for young people aged 10 to 17years, who are either at-risk or already in contact with the youth justicesystem. MacYouth will hold four camps, for up to 10 people, per year.

Youth bush camps are part of the most extensive suite ofmeasures to address the issue of young offenders ever seen in the Territory. Thisalso includes youth victim conferencing, extra Police on our streets, andbringing back school-based constables that the CLP scrapped.

For the first time in the Territorys history, Police, government agenciesand NGOs will now be able to refer young people under the age of criminalresponsibility (8-9 years old) to programs that will change behaviour and breakthe cycle of youth crime.

As stated by Minister for Territory Families, DaleWakefield

Youth crime any crime is unacceptable. Youngpeople who do the wrong thing will face the consequences because allTerritorians have the right to be safe.

The youth bush camps involve taking young people andtheir families out on country with intervention from Aboriginal elders to helpyoung people re-establish their connection to culture and face the consequencesof their actions. The camps also involve intensive therapy to change behaviour.

We have a comprehensive plan to cut crime in theTerritory. The only plan the CLP have is to cut funding for youth services andprograms that keep our community safer. They also failed to recruit more policeofficers and scrapped school-based constables.

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