Young people on youth justice court orders are characterised by higher rates of psychiatric illness, substance abuse and learning difficulties than the general population. Poverty, low educational attainment, unemployment, history of family breakdown and higher representation of rural youth feature consistently in the youth justice profile. Many are prone to self-harm and substance abuse or have themselves been victims of violence or crime.
This group represents some of the most disadvantaged young people in our community. The youth justice system cannot address youth crime in isolation from other systems such as welfare, drug and alcohol, disability, housing, mental health, education and employment.
Client service plan (CSP)
A client service plan is developed for every young person on an order, both in the community and in custody, and is reviewed regularly. The key objective of the client service plan is to change the offending pattern of behaviour and stop the further progression of the young person into the criminal justice system.
Support and diversion programs
Youth justice Koori programs
Youth justice Koori programs provide support and supervision to young Aboriginal people on community-based orders and in custody. Operated by local Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, they provide programs aimed at preventing offending or re-offending behaviour through strengthening positive role modelling and connection to culture for young Aboriginal people.
Youth Justice Community Support Service
The Youth Justice Community Support Service (YJCSS), is an integrated approach to the provision of intensive support and services to young people involved with the youth justice system to complement the statutory case management undertaken by statutory case managers in Youth Justice units. The service has been developed recognising that young people involved with the youth justice system present with a range of complex and varied needs that require an individualised service response.
Youth Justice Court Advice Service
The Youth Justice Court Advice Service (YJCAS) is a specialised youth focused service provided by the department's youth justice service for young people who are appearing in the Children's, Magistrates, County or Supreme Courts in relation to criminal matters. The primary focus of YJCAS is the diversion of young people from the adult criminal justice system.
Central After Hours and Bail Placement Service
The Central After Hours and Bail Placement Service (CAHABPS) is a state wide after hours service available to young people aged between 10 and 17 years. The service may be utilised voluntarily by any young person being considered for remand by police or where bail accommodation may be required.
Youth Health and Rehabilitation Services (YHaRS)
Young people involved with the youth justice system are provided with health services by the Youth Health and Rehabilitation Service.
Male Adolescent Program for Positive Sexuality (MAPPS)
The Male Adolescent Program for Positive Sexuality (MAPPS) is an intensive group treatment program for adolescent males supervised by youth justice who have been found guilty of a sexual offence.
Enquiries about MAPPS can be made to YHaRS. Young people involved with the youth justice system are provided with health services by Youth Health and Rehabilitation Services (YHaRS). For more information please call (03) 9389 5555 or email Reception@yhars.org.au
Education, employment and training
Parkville College (external link) is established within youth justice centres to provide a broad range of vocational and educational programs and linkages to the community.