Youth Justice Conferencing and Victim Support

Youth Justice Conferencing makes sure young people who do the wrong thing understand and acknowledge the consequences of their actions while providing closure to victims.

Young people are required to undertake actions that give back to the community to make amends for their offending and prevent re-offending.

The Courts can order a young person to attend a youth justice conference after a guilty finding. Police also refer to their own youth justice conferencing. The offender, victim, a facilitator and when appropriate, other individuals or community members affected by the crime, participate in the conference. Young people must face the victims of their crime and agree to undertake actions to provide restitution to the victim and the community. 

Expansion of court-ordered youth justice conferencing

Territory Families, Housing and Communities has developed a partnership with the Community Justice Centre to increase restorative youth justice conferencing across the Northern Territory. A new framework, principles and practice guidelines will be developed in consultation with stakeholders. 

Phase 1 of this new partnership includes expanding court-ordered youth justice conferencing options in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek, where this service currently does not exist. Preparatory development work, training of practitioners and stakeholder consultations in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek, has already begun. Youth justice conferencing in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek is expected to be available from October this year. The Community Justice Centre will coordinate the delivery of these conferencing services.

Jesuit Social Services will continue deliver youth justice conferencing in Darwin, Palmerston and Katherine. 
Phase 2 of the partnership will include developing youth justice conferencing options in three remote communities. Through Local Decision Making, elders, community organisations and law and justice groups will design and build the youth justice conferencing model with a focus on rehabilitation and job creation for at risk young people.

Victim Support 

Victims of Crime NT will deliver this new program in Darwin, Katherine, Alice Springs, and Tennant Creek. 

The program provides support and assistance for victims to participate in conferencing and will run concurrently with the expansion of the youth justice conferencing program. The program will ensure that victims who are participating in youth justice conferencing have a voice, can achieve outcomes and reach closure. 

It will also increase the profile of youth justice conferencing as an option for victims of youth crime as part of the sentencing, youth diversion and resolution process. 

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