Investing $10,000 in one young person at risk saves the community $507, 715.00 in gaol costs in a year!
Not all, but most, of the young people who end up in the youth justice system are some of the most disadvantaged in Australia. Huge numbers are victims of trauma, abuse and neglect – indeed, they are 12 times as likely as other young people to be in the child protection system. Many have been:
- expelled or suspended from school
- affected by a parent or sibling in gaol
- affected by addiction, disability and/or mental health problems.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are 17 times as likely as non-Indigenous to be under supervision on any given day.
Young people should not be placed in custody, except as a very last resort, and never in an adult prison. They are developmentally immature – even 18 year olds should not be sent to an adult prison. Moreover, involvement in the criminal justice system at a young age often causes further harm and further involvement – there is no evidence to show that a custodial order reduces offending.
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