The International NGO Council on Violence against Children has published a report focused on violence that affects children across the globe. This report comments on the many forms of violence perpetrated against children, including child detention rates, child marriage, and physical violence and punishment. It calls on the global community to address the root causes of violence and promote a culture of respect for the rights of the child.
Adverse childhood experiences and trauma among young people in the youth justice system
This report from the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) examines the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) among young people in the youth justice system based on a South Australian sample. The study had many prevalent findings and provided suggestions on supporting these young people.
Beyond borders: How to make the global compacts on migration and refugees work for uprooted children
The rights, protection and wellbeing of migrant and refugee children should be central commitments of global migration policies, UNICEF has said in a new report. The report outlines best practice for children’s care and protection, and includes case studies of governments and communities working to support and integrate them and their families. Key themes include keeping families together, keeping refugee and migrant children learning, and combatting discrimination. The case studies are diverse, spanning across country income levels, and can be replicated in different contexts around the world.
Crossover Children: Examining Initial Criminal Justice System Contact Among Child Protection- Involved Youth
This article is part of a series of reports and articles seeking to understand the circumstances that lead to children and young people becoming ‘cross-over kids’; involved in both the child protection and criminal justice systems. It looks at cross-over children’s initial charges.
Evaluation of the pre-court support for adolescents using violence in the home (AVITH) pilot: Final evaluation report
This Centre for Innovative Justice report presents evaluations and impacts from a Youth Law early intervention program for young people who use violence in the home. This report provides insights into the effectiveness and limitations of the program as well as an evaluation guide for service providers working in the AVITH space.
Helping young children who have experienced trauma: Policies and strategies for early care and education
This National Centre for Children in Poverty (NCCP) paper presents an overview of early childhood trauma, the impact it has on young children and brain development and promising strategies for trauma-informed care in early care and education. Along with high quality programming, strong policy is crucial to meeting the emotional and early learning needs of children who have experienced trauma. The NCCP makes a series of recommendations to better support access to quality, trauma-informed early care and education.
The Victorian youth justice advocacy coalition, Smart Justice for Young People (SJ4YP), has published a report aimed at strengthening the understanding of a justice reinvestment approach and exploring how it might be implemented in Victoria. Justice reinvestment is an approach to the criminal justice system that redirects funding away from incarcerating people in youth detention and towards community-based initiatives aimed at addressing the root causes of crime. This report looks at case studies of justice reinvestment in the US, New Zealand and Europe.
Maltreatment and Delinquency: Examining the Contexts of Offending Amongst Child Protection-Involved Children
This article is part of a series of reports and articles seeking to understand the circumstances that lead to children and young people becoming ‘cross-over kids’ who involved in both the child protection and criminal justice systems.
Our youth, our way: Inquiry into the over-representation of Aboriginal children and young people in the Victorian youth justice system
The Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) has released its report examining the lived experience of Aboriginal young people who have had contact with Victoria’s youth justice system and the factors that contribute to their overrepresentation. CCYP found that the continuing legacy of colonisation, the stolen generation and structural and institutional racism play a significant role in the over-representation of Aboriginal young people in the youth justice system. The report makes 75 recommendations.
Speaking Out About Youth Justice: The Views of WA Children and Young People
The Commissioner for Children and Young People in WA has released a report detailing the experiences of young people who have been in contact with the youth justice system. Along with their personal stories, the young people included in the study share what they think would support them in the community to break the cycle of reoffending. The 92 young people involved in the study communicated the belief that offending could be prevented by making appropriate supports and services available. Key supports included positive role models, living in a safe and stable home, participating in education or employment, being involved in community activities and being supported to deal with personal challenges and behavioural issues. For a large number of young offenders, the role models, family supports and other safety nets many of us take for granted are not present.
The economic costs of child maltreatment in the UK
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) in the UK has published a study estimating the lifetime economic costs of child maltreatment. The report reflects on the impact child maltreatment has on health care, social care, education, the criminal justice system and economic productivity.
The New Work Smarts: Thriving in the new work order
The Foundation for Young Australians has released a report exploring the changing face of work. Drivers such as automation, flexible work arrangements and globalisation mean that the skills required by workers in the future will be very different from those of today. The report predicts that 77 per cent more time will be spent using science and mathematics skills, and that skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and digital literacy will be critical. The report suggests that Australia’s education system, from preschool through to higher education, needs to adapt to adequately prepare young people for work.
The PIPA project: Positive Interventions for Perpetrators of Adolescent violence in the home (AVITH)
This report from ANROWS contributes to an understanding of adolescent violence in the home (AVITH) and explores the development of a considered systemic response. It is drawn from a 2 year study that included a literature review, stakeholder engagement, interviews and focus groups with practitioners and reviews of 385 legal case files to examine the legal responses to AVITH in three jurisdictions: Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia.
Victorian Ombudsman Report: Youth Justice Facilities at the Grevillea Unit of Barwon Prison, Malmsbury and Parkville (2017)
Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass recently released a report on Victoria’s youth justice facilities in Malmsbury, Parkville and the Grevillea Unit at Barwon Prison. The report details the deterioration of conditions at Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre in November and December of 2016, including young people being kept in their rooms up to 23 hours per day, beds without mattresses or bedding, and no toilet paper or clean clothing. The conditions at Grevillea Youth Justice Centre are equally concerning, with reports of an excessive amount of time in lockdown, limited or zero access to visitors, and lack of information provided to young people about their transfer. The Ombudsman highlights staff shortages and overcrowding as contributing to the failure of these facilities. The report calls on the Victorian government to focus on long-term reform and the rehabilitation of these young people.
Young people under youth justice supervision and their interaction with the child protection system 2020–21
Linked data analysis by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that over 50% of youth justice-involved young people had previous contact with the child protection system. Additionally, 1 in 4 detained young people had prior experience in out-of-home care. This underscores the interconnectedness of these systems and the need for comprehensive support.
Young people with acquired brain injury: Preventing entrenchment in the criminal justice system
AIC has released this paper investigating whether young people with acquired brain injury (ABI) are overrepresented in the criminal justice system and looking at how the system responds to their needs. The study found that young people with ABI are very likely to be overrepresented, however the true extent is unclear due to low levels of diagnosis and identification. Further findings and proposals are detailed in the report.
The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has released updated fact sheets on Victoria’s Youth Justice System. The fact sheets look at the backgrounds of young people in the justice system, and highlight the disproportionate number of young people from rural and regional areas or from Indigenous backgrounds being incarcerated. Indeed, an Indigenous young person in Victoria aged 10–17 was 13 times as likely as a non-Indigenous young person to be under youth justice supervision.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has published a report on youth justice, presenting youth justice data for the period 2015-16. The report is accompanied by eight fact sheets, profiling youth justice supervision in each state and territory. Interestingly, the rate of young people aged 10–17 under supervision on an average day was lowest in Victoria at 14 per 10,000. The report also highlights that around 5,500 young people were under supervision in 2015–16, down from almost 7,000 in 2011–12. Young Indigenous people were 17 times as likely as non-Indigenous young people to be under supervision on an average day.
The latest report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare presents data on young people under youth justice supervision in 2021-2022. It highlights significant variations in supervision rates across states and territories. The report provides valuable insights into youth justice supervision in the Australian and international contexts. Relevant for practitioners in the field of youth justice and policy.
Youth Justice Review and Strategy: Meeting needs and reducing offending
The Victorian Government has released a comprehensive independent review of the Victorian Youth Justice System. The review provides a detailed account of the young people who are currently in the Victorian youth justice system, and the significant challenges currently facing the system. Currently, the reviewers note, just 1 per cent of youth justice investment is allocated to early intervention programs and 3 per cent to court-based diversion and restorative justice. The review highlights the need to draw on the evidence base and refocus on the needs of young offenders, and their rehabilitation.
Mission Australia’s Youth Mental Health and Homelessness Report presents findings from the Mission Australia Youth Survey. It shows that poor family functioning and serious mental illness are factors that significantly impact the risk of homelessness for young Australians aged 15-19 years. Findings include those with a probable serious mental illness are 3.5 times more likely to have spent time away from home than those without a probable serious mental illness.
Youth Work Matters Social Return on Investment Study
The Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to conduct a social and economic return on investment (SROI) to understand the impact of youth work in Victoria and strengthen the evidence base to inform policy decisions. The report covers mental health and wellbeing, education and employment, housing, and interaction with the justice system, and highlights the crucial role that youth work plays in improving the lives of young people in Victoria.