Early intervention and intensive targeted programs

Specialised programs targeting young people at-risk of entering the youth justice system are being developed by community organisations and businesses in partnership with the Northern Territory Government.

Our aim is to intervene and engage at risk young people before they enter the youth justice system and to steer them onto a better path so they can make positive life choices and be productive members of the community.

Early intervention programs focus on case management, bush camps and education and training initiatives. Intensive targeted programs focus on young people who have a high risk of offending or are offending and works to divert them away from the youth justice system and get them back on track.

Case management

Territory Families Youth Outreach and Reengagement Teams (YORET) provide voluntary and court-ordered case management to young people aged from 10-17 years across the Northern Territory.

Youth Outreach and Reengagement Officers provide one-on-one engagement and relationship development for young people at risk of becoming involved in the youth justice system. They work with young people and their families to provide support and interventions that meet individual needs.

Youth Engagement Night Officers (YENOs) are specialist youth workers in Alice Springs who work with at-risk young people who are unsupervised in public places at night. They operate seven days a week from 8pm-3am and work with NT Police and youth services to address anti-social behaviour, put at-risk young people back on track and make referrals for ongoing support, programs and services.

Bush camps

Youth bush camps are designed to reduce offending, target substance use and at-risk behaviour, increase educational and vocational engagement, improve cultural connectedness and identity and enhance health and wellbeing. 

Programs may include hard physical challenges; outdoor work; practical life-skill development and work experience.  They may also include teamwork, cultural connection with elders, get-fit programs and counselling. 
Camps have proven successful across the Northern Territory with more than 80 per cent of young people who have participated in Operation Flinders not re-offending.

MacDonnell Regional Council – Central Region

MacDonnell Regional Council will deliver The Right Track program to support young people aged 10-18 years who are at-risk of entering or have come in contact with the youth justice system. The program will provide intensive specialist case management, support community-based restorative practices, and off-site intensive activities that engage young people, family members, and elders. The program will include four wilderness camps (for up to 10 young people) per year. Camp locations will be in the MacDonnell Regional Council region.

Operation Flinders Wilderness Camps – Northern Region

Building on the success of previous youth wilderness camps, additional camps (for up to 10 young people per camp) will be delivered for young people in the Darwin/Palmerston, Groote Eylandt and Big Rivers regions in 2019/20. 

Intensive on-country, culture camps as an alternative to detention

Creating a Safe Supportive Environment (CASSE) – Central Region 

CASSE will deliver a six month intensive targeted program for high risk young people. The program provides an alternative sentencing option and works to reduce reoffending, strengthen connections to culture and country and increase engagement with family and community. As part of the program, 10 on-country, culture camps will be delivered for 30 young people each year in partnership with the Men’s Tjilirra Movement. This in addition to providing early intervention camps. 

Education and Training

Education and skills training programs are designed to engage young people and equip them with the learning and qualifications required to enter the workforce and become productive members of the community.

First Step Program – Alice Springs 

First Step program to include a pilot Vocational Education and Training program in Alice Springs. The program uses Aboriginal mentors and leaders to teach young people about the construction industry, provide them with a trade qualification and prepare them for entry into the workforce. As part of the program, young people build accommodation facilities for remote communities. 

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