Welcome to Smart Justice for Young People
Established in 2011 by Youthlaw, with a grant from the Legal Services Board, Smart Justice for Young People (SJ4YP), the youth specific arm of Smart Justice, brings together over 30 legal, youth, health, welfare and community organisations, many working with young people at risk.
Members have an interest in how vulnerable and disadvantaged young people are faring in the Victorian justice system, and are experienced practitioners giving us on-the-ground knowledge of the issues and concerns of children and young people.
We hope to improve outcomes for young people in contact with the criminal justice system by:
- promoting greater awareness and understanding by the public, key stakeholders and decision-makers about young people’s interactions with the justice system and youth offending,
- challenging justice policies and practices having negative long-term impacts on young people; and
- promoting evidence-based youth justice approaches, informed by experiences of young people, that will benefit those young people in contact with the criminal justice system and the community.
Our main focuses have been on interactions between police and young people, youth diversion schemes, bail and remand, youth crime trends, conditions in youth justice facilities and other issues as they arise. The group is also currently exploring an alternative approach to reduce offending, justice reinvestment, and considering its potential application in Victoria.
Evidence tells us that smart approaches to justice issues, particularly in the formative years of a person's life, are far more effective in creating safer, happier communities now and in the future.