Back on Track alternative sentencing and youth diversion program

Back on Track program is a new alternative sentencing program that provides alternatives to detention and pathways to divert young people away from the youth justice system.

Back on Track provides the Courts with another option to sentence young people (10–17 years) to as an alternative to detention.

Police, government agencies and non-government agencies can refer young people under the age of criminal responsibility (8-9 years) to the program. 

Existing options such as bail support services, community work orders, good behaviour orders, suspended sentences and parole will remain. 

Back on Track will be delivered in Greater Darwin, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Nhulunbuy and Katherine to 8–13 year olds and 14–17 year olds.

The program addresses at risk behaviour, consequences and restitution, life skills and cultural connection, family capacity and responsibility. It also supports re-engagement with education, training and employment. 

The program includes a holistic service co-ordination model based on four elements aimed at equipping the young person with the skills needed to deter them from reoffending. The four stages include:

  • Element 1: Developmental and therapeutic needs
    Address offending behaviour and identify individual needs
  • Element 2: Consequences, restitution and giving back to the community
    Restorative justice and victim offender conferencing, community service activities
  • Element 3: Life skills and cultural connection
    Connect with community elders, learn culture and foundational skills for adulthood, food security, health, hygiene and accommodation options
  • Element 4: Vocational education and training leading to employment or further studies
    Serve the community through project based training, volunteering and work ready programs with local businesses 

Seven service providers will deliver the Back on Track alternative sentencing and youth diversion program across the Northern Territory. The service providers include a mix of highly qualified Aboriginal organisations, health providers, Registered Training Organisations, social services and private enterprises. Partnerships with smaller community organisations have also been developed to ensure integrated service delivery. The Back on Track program will be operational in September 2019.

The Department of Education will assist to re-engage young people with education and provide the Vocational Education and Training and learning components of the program.

To refer a young person into the program, please complete the Program Referral and Consent Forms and email to TF.BackonTrackReferrals@nt.gov.au

Back on Track Consent Form

Back on Track Referral Form

The Back on Track Program in Greater Darwin will be delivered by:

Greater Darwin
Cohort 1: 14–17 year olds: Anglicare NT, Australian Childhood Foundation and the First Step program
Cohort 2 – 8–13 year olds: Australian Childhood Foundation

Alice Springs
Cohort 1: 14–17 year olds: Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation and Saltbush Social Enterprises Limited
Cohort 2: 8–13 year olds: Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation

Tennant Creek
Cohort 1: 14–17 year olds: Australian Childhood Foundation and Saltbush Social Enterprises Limited
Cohort 2 – 8–13 year olds: Australian Childhood Foundation and Saltbush Social Enterprises Limited

Katherine
Cohort 1: 14–17 year olds: Australian Childhood Foundation, Jesuit Social Services and Save the Children
Cohort 2 – 8–13 year olds: Australian Childhood Foundation, Jesuit Social Services and Save the Children

Nhulunbuy
Cohort 1: 14–17 year olds: Anglicare NT and Australian Childhood Foundation
Cohort 2: 8–13 year olds: Anglicare NT and Australian Childhood Foundation

Download Fact Sheet - Creating Safer Communities

Download Fact Sheet - Alternative Sentencing and Youth Diversion Program

Service providers and program delivery

Anglicare NT

ANGLICARE NT has been established in the NT for more than 70 years. 

The ANGLICARE program will support young people to undertake youth justice conferencing and complete agreed actions to give back to the community. They will partner with Aboriginal organisations so young people can engage in community service with vulnerable, culturally or socially isolated community members and address consequences, restitution and strengthen community connections. Professional development programs will provide foundation life skills to prepare young people for education and employment.

Australian Childhood Foundation

AUSTRALIAN CHILDHOOD FOUNDATION has been established in the NT for nine years and is a Registered Training Organisation. 

The Australian Childhood Foundation program will provide a comprehensive assessment framework to identify and understand the critical areas of need and risk, strength and resource that sit within and around children, young people and their families. This will allow for monitoring and reporting of the young person through all elements and evaluation of the program. The model is culturally strong and trauma informed and can cater for the complex, challenging and specialist needs of young people.

First Step

FIRST STEP is a Northern Territory based, 100 per cent Indigenous owned and operated corporation that is developing and delivering innovative programs resulting in employment opportunities for young people.

The program supports and mentors young people to develop foundation and employment skills through a range of vocational education and training qualifications. The program provides significant Aboriginal leadership through mentoring, kinship and cultural connection.

Jesuit Social Services

JESUIT SOCIAL SERVICES has been in the NT since 2008. The Back on Track program will focus on reparation to victims of crime or those hurt by the young person’s actions. It will provide young people with the opportunity to repair the harm they may have caused by giving back to the community and assisting them to identify what support and services are needed to help them achieve their goals.

Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation

CENTRAL AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL CONGRESS ABORIGINAL CORPORATION has been established in the NT for 44 years and is the primary provider of medical and therapeutic support to Aboriginal people in the Alice Springs area. It has significant experience working with high risk youth and their families.

The Back on Tracks service model will provide a suite of assessments including psychological, FASD, criminogenic, health and educational to provide a holistic picture of a young person’s needs. They will support young people to prepare for and attend youth justice conferencing and give back to the community through undertaking community work and providing reparation to victims and the community.

Congress will provide case management of young people through intensive social and emotional wellbeing programs that provide life skills, increase cultural connection and have strong links with community sporting clubs. They will work with families to increase their capacity to support the young person.

Saltbush Social Enterprises Limited

SALTBUSH SOCIAL ENTERPRISES LIMITED has been established in the NT since 2016 and will support young people participate in youth justice conferencing and undertake community service. 

As a Registered Training Organisation, Saltbush will focus on teaching employment skills and support young people to complete a range of training and employment programs.

Save the Children

SAVE THE CHILDREN has been established in the NT for 25 years and will provide an intensive family support and cultural program to enable young people to grow and develop. They will work with the Registered Training Organisation, partner with community groups and mentors to help young people achieve their goals.