Human rights group Amnesty International has called on the NT Government to introduce its tougher crime management plan to Katherine.
The government last month unveiled a plan to target 30 high-risk youth in Alice Springs.
Amnesty says the same program should be rolled in Katherine.
In Alice Springs, the NT Government is establishing a Interagency Case Management Group to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour through early intervention and prevention tactics.
The ICMG will focus on up to 30 high-risk young people and their families, and take action at a case management level to reduce the likelihood of future offending or reoffending.
The group includes staff from Territory Families, Northern Territory Police, and the Department of Education.
Amnesty International has welcomed the initiative where 30 high-risk young people and their families are being case-managed so they are less likely to offend or re-offend.
While the program is not focused on Indigenous young people, with 100% of children in NT youth detention being Indigenous, Amnesty is pleased to see the program consults with Indigenous-led organisations such as Tangentyere Council and the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.
Amnesty says the program should be expanded to Katherine, as it had higher offence rates than Alice Springs of domestic violence related assaults, sexual assaults and commercial break-ins.
“With this program the NT is taking the right approach by supporting young people when they are in need, and connecting them to education and training, to counselling and medical services,” deputy national director Alison Gibbins said.
“This is the smart way to help Territory young people to stay out of the quicksand of the justice system. Existing ad-hoc youth diversion programs aren’t working - we need a concentrated effort on fixing the system.
“We echo the call of Aboriginal community members in Katherine who are encouraging the NT Government to expand this approach to Katherine,” she said.
“We don’t want to see NT regional centres like Katherine being left behind. Kids here have every right to the same opportunities that kids in Darwin and Alice have. We see enormous potential for Katherine young people to thrive with the support of a program such as this.”
Amnesty has contacted the NT Government which it says is considering the request.
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