Resources & Publications

Here you will find research and publications that reflect the principles of Smart Justice for Young People. These inform our vision of smarter approaches to youth justice. The publications come from a variety of disciplines, reflecting our belief in the need for holisitc approaches to young people and the justice system.

Good Practice in Reducing the Over-Representation of Care leavers in the Youth Justice System

(Leaving Care and Youth Justice:Phase Three Report. Philip Mendes, Susan Baidawi & Pamela C.Snow.)

The findings of this research Report point to the usefulness of a trauma-informed approach for preventing and addressing the over-representation of young people in and leaving care in the youth justice system.

When a trauma-informed lens adopted, we are able to see how the impact of adverse childhood experiences can increases the risk of involvement in offending behaviour for young people in out-of-home care.

Among the Reoprts recommnedations is for a state-wide diversion scheme for young people be legislated for, and that trauma-informed and culturally appropriate diversionary options which are accessible and suited to the needs of young people in out-of-home care are implemented. Diversion to evidence-based therapeutic options should be explored.

Youth diversion resources

Youth Diverison Works video (launched in April 2014) which profiles two young people who have successfully completed youth diverison programs and turned their lives around.

Youth Diversion factsheet that includes evaluation results and the cost analysis of youth diversion.

Youth Diversion Works key messages and asks for Victorian State Election November 2014

Youth diversion briefing paper launched by Smart Justice for Young People

Smart Justice for Young People held a briefing at Parliament House in Melbourne recently for our youth diversion campaign. A number of Members of Parliament, Ministerial Advisers and people working in the community sector were in attendance to hear a range of speakers, including a young person who has benefited from a diversion program. Not all young people are fortunate enough to have this opportunity, though. For more information on youth diversion and why it makes sense, take a look here

Submission to Victoria Policy Inquiry

Smart Justice for Young People's provided a submisson to the Victoria Police Inquiry in July 2013, “Safeguards against discriminatory policing.”

Key recommendations included Victoria Police command taking apublic stance on racial discrimination in the police force aided by the introduction of written reasons and receipts for stop, move on directions and searches by police, and anti bias training.

New online collection of social policy research

The Social Needs Directory is a searchable online database of research and publications on social policy and social issues. ACOSS and the National Pro Bono Resource Centre launched the database last week and, while there's over 500 publications available, they are open to suggestions for more. Take a look here.

Safe Spaces toolkit launched by community legal centres

Springvale Monash Legal Service and Western Suburbs Legal Service have released 'Safe Spaces: A Toolkit for Dealing with Police/Youth Conflict'. The toolkit looks at ways to address the problems of young people (particularly CALD young people) who have frequent contact with police. It also explores the pitfalls of community engagement initiatives that have been used in the past to address these problems. The toolkit is an invaluable resource to organisations seeking to undertake work in the youth-police relations area.

Letter to Chief Commissioner Lay

Over 10 organisations, including Smart Justice for Young People, have written to Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay proposing ways forward in implementing the Coroner's recommendations from the Tyler Cassidy inquest. These recommendations include the need for youth specific training, training in identifying and engaging with people with mental health issues and a regular dialogue with community stakeholders on the steps Victoria Police are taking towards these goals. Read the letter here.

Report: Supporting Young People in Police Interviews

In June 2011, the Victorian Law Reform Commission launched its report, Supporting Young People in Police Interviews. This report came about as a result of calls from a range of Government and community agencies for reform to laws relating to the role of the Independent Person in police interviews... Read more

Judge Paul Grant's address at the launch of Smart Justice for Young People

Judge Grant, President of the Children's Court of Victoria, spoke about the vulnerabilities of those young people who come before the Court as well as highlighting the overwhelming majority of young people have no contact with the criminal justice system. The myths of a 'youth violence' problem are dispelled by the statistics presented by Judge Grant.

Access his presentation slides here and his notes here


Quick Links