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Joint Open Letter to the Attorney-General and Ministers Mikakos and Neville: Youth Justice Reforms, PSO Bill

More than 50 signatories have joined together in an open letter to Victorian Attorney-General Martin Pakula, Minister for Families and Children and Youth Affairs, Jenny Mikakos, and Minister for Police, Lisa Neville expressing deep concerns about some changes proposed in the Children and Justice Legislation Amendment (Youth Justice Reform Bill) and the Justice Legislation Amendment (Protective Service Officers and Other Matters) Bill, both tabled in Parliament on 24th May 2017.
While recognising "community concerns and the need to substantially improve the system to better respond to and prevent incidents of riots and escapes from youth detention, and the increase in violent carjackings, burglaries and home invasions", the signatories have urged the Attorney-General and Ministers to publicly "release and adopt recommendations from the major review of the youth justice system by Penny Armytage and Professor James Ogloff."
"We are confident that implementation of this report would ensure that reform of Victoria’s youth justice system proceeds based on the best available evidence. We welcome reforms that have rehabilitative goals such as the introduction of a youth diversion framework and Youth Control Orders (YCOs), in as much as we see their potential to help young people confront and address the underlying causes of their offending, and divert children and young people away from the justice system and detentions."
Read the full letter here.
Youth Offending – Know the Facts

The Youth Affairs Council Victoria has prepared useful information in collaboration with the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare to lay out the facts with regard to youth justice. Download and print out the infographic factsheet for refence!

Jesuit Social Services international Justice Solutions Tour
Delegates from Jesuit Social Services’ Executive team and Board have embarked on an international research trip to explore innovative and sustainable solutions to youth and adult justice issues. Taking place throughout June 2017, the Justice Solutions tour will investigate justice policy, systems, facilities and advocacy in the UK, Germany, Norway, Spain and the United States.
By observing state-of-the-art facilities overseas and talking to fellow practitioners and policy leaders about alternative approaches in practice, programs, policy and advocacy, the Jesuit Social Services team hope to contribute new ideas and influence the conversation around youth and adult justice in Australia.
Delegates include Julie Edwards (CEO) and Sally Parnell (Executive Director of Programs), who will visit Europe, and Patricia Faulkner (Chairman) and Catherine Neville (Executive Director of Advocacy and Strategic Communication), who will head to the US.
Julie Edwards says the Justice Solutions tour aligns with Jesuit Social Services’ tradition of valuing expertise, grounded experience, and promoting evidenced-based policy.
“We want to ensure that our youth justice systems are effective in turning around the lives of young people and promoting a safe community. We want to make certain that the rehabilitative prospects of children and young people are as strong as possible in our policies and practices – an outcome that benefits the entire community.”

The Justice Solutions tour follows Jesuit Social Services' third National Justice Symposium which took place in March 2017 and brought together experts, academics and policymakers to discuss the many and complex issues affecting youth justice in Australia.
For more on this story and the full itinerary, click here.
To follow the journey, see Jesuit Social Services' blog, here.

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