Youth justice officers for Darwin, Alice Springs

The Northern Territory Government has recruited 25 Youth Justice Officers in Darwin and Alice Springs in an attempt to curb juvenile re-offenders.   

Last month Katherine missed out on a  youth crime task force, which saw a resource boost in Alice Springs and Darwin in response crime wave in those areas.

Minister for Territory Families, Dale Wakefield, said the new Youth Justice Officers will receive six weeks of specialist training to promote rehabilitation of young detainees and reduce future reoffending.

“The Territory Labor Government is determined to break the cycle of crime that has been going on for too long. These recruits will play a big role in that,” Ms Wakefield said.

“Their main role is to provide supervision, guidance and support to young people in detention to help them get on a better path.

“They will be actively involved in a range of rehabilitation programs with the young detainees that include life skills, training, education and personal development,” she said. 

Part of the training of recruits is facilitated by the Australian Childhood Foundation, teaching recruits about the impact of trauma on young people and how it can affect their brain development and behaviour.

Ms Wakefield said the training will enable the Youth Justice Officers to provide more meaningful responses to detainees’ behaviour, better support rehabilitation and ultimately stop reoffending.

“That means taking action that actually works including supporting young offenders to turn their lives around and not become adult criminals,” Ms Wakefield said.

“We have listened to the community and know that is one of the main things they want - it’s why we are overhauling our youth justice system.

“When a young offender is in detention we need to do everything possible to make sure they don’t end up back there. When they leave they will continue to receive supervision from the 52 new Youth Diversion workers we announced last month as part of our $18.2 million overhaul of the broken youth justice system.”

Ms Wakefield said every Territorian has the right to feel safe in their own home.

“It’s not good enough to simply have young people in detention, serving their time with no opportunity for rehabilitation – they need to be guided onto a better path.

“That’s why this government is spending $18.2 million to overhaul the broken youth justice system to ensure we break the cycle of offending through tough but fair rehabilitation and diversion programs,” she said.