27 September 2023

Young offenders targeted in pilot program

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A new pilot program developed by the Department of Communities has been launched to aim at helping prolific offenders in the juvenile justice system turn their lives around.

Ten young people from Broome are to be supported through Target 120 Plus, which will include services that are culturally appropriate and tailored for the young persons’ individual needs.

In addition, in-home support to families will help parents develop skills promoting healthy child development.

The program will be delivered by a Community Youth Officer employed by the Department.

Minister for Community Services, Simone McGurk said the in-home support component of the program would be led by an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation which would also have input into the design of the program and the delivery of the service.

“The program complements the Target 120 early intervention program for young people at risk of becoming repeat offenders,” Ms McGurk said.

Target 120 focuses on a small cohort of high-risk young people and works intensively with them and their families to help keep them out of the justice system.”

She said Target 120 had proven to be successful by reducing offending behaviour amongst some of the most at-risk young people.

“Nothing is more tragic than seeing young people getting caught up in crime and the criminal justice system,” the Minister said.

“There are a range of risk factors we know lead to a young person’s susceptibility to offending, such as abuse, neglect, exposure to violence, family conflict, negative peer influences and poor engagement at school.”

She said it was crucial to look at the root causes of young people offending and empower them to turn their lives around.

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