Information about changes to our services is available on the Youth Justice's response to coronavirus (COVID-19) page.
Youth Justice supervises children and young people who are in the criminal justice system.
• young people 10-18 years of age
• young adults up to 24 years of age who are serving their sentence in Youth Justice’s ‘dual track’ system.
Youth Justice may work with young people in the community, or in custodial services.
Our vision for a leading youth justice system
Youth Justice strives to:
• reduce offending by children and young people and improve community safety
• work with others to provide genuine opportunities for children and young people to turn their lives around.
Youth Justice works in partnership with families, communities, services and professionals.
An evidence-based approach
Evidence on youth offending shows that for most young people, diversion from the justice system and early intervention are the most effective approaches to reduce reoffending.
Youth diversion provides young people with pathways to avoid progression into the Youth Justice system. Programs and services support young people so they can address the underlying reasons for their offending. In most cases, this means they can remain in the community.
In 2017, the Armytage-Ogloff Youth Justice Review and Strategy identified key changes to Youth Justice to improve outcomes for children and young people.
Since then, Youth Justice has undergone significant transformation. In 2020-21, Victoria had the lowest rate of young people under Youth Justice supervision in the country – and one of the lowest rates of young people in custody.
The future of Youth Justice
Youth Justice continues to transform and invest in services for young people and community safety. You can read about our key initiatives:
Youth Justice Strategic Plan
The Youth Justice Strategic Plan 2020-30 is the roadmap to ongoing reform of the Youth Justice system.
The plan sets out how Youth Justice is working with partners to achieve a leading youth justice system for Victoria which supports young people to turn their lives around.
Youth Diversion Statement
The Youth Diversion Statement is a guide outlining efforts to divert young people from the justice system to improve community safety in Victoria.
A range of programs and services are available to support young people to address the underlying reasons for offending.
Victoria's first Aboriginal Youth Justice Strategy has been written by and for Aboriginal young people.
The strategy commits to supporting Aboriginal children and young people so they remain outside the Youth Justice system and live culturally rich lives.
Youth Crime Prevention
These grants are available to help communities prevent crime, engage young people and reduce their contact with the justice system.