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.

Justice Health

Justice Health is a business unit within the Department of Justice and Community Safety responsible for the delivery of:

  • health services and offending programs for children and young people detained in Victorian youth justice centres
  • offending programs for children and young people sentenced on community-based orders
  • health services for persons detained in Victorian adult prisons.

Justice Health:

  • sets the policy and standards for health care in Victorian prisons, youth justice centres and for community youth offending programs
  • audits standards of care to ensure the delivery of quality health and rehabilitation services underpinned by a framework of continuous improvement.

The key purpose of Justice Health is to improve health outcomes for children, young people and adults involved in the criminal justice system and contribute to a healthier community.

In addition, Justice Health manages contracts for health service delivery within and across the adult public prison system and youth justice system.

Health service and offending behaviour program delivery

As of 1 February 2019, the following health service arrangements have been in place:

  • Youth Primary Health Care (including primary mental health) delivered by Correct Care Australasia
  • Youth Offending programs delivered by Caraniche in custody and in the community
  • Forensic Youth Mental Health delivered by Orygen Youth Health (a service delivery arm of Melbourne Health).

The Primary Health Care and Youth Offending program contracts are managed through Justice Health. The Forensic Mental Health contract is managed through the Department of Health and Human Services.

Justice Health Contact details

Email Justicehealth@justice.vic.gov.au (External link)
Phone (03) 9947 1601
Fax (03) 9947 1626
Mail GPO Box 123
Melbourne VIC 3001

Health records

You can find information about how health records are managed by the department and how they can be requested (External link) on the Corrections Victoria website

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.