Paech I Australian Rural and Regional News

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The deputy. Chansey Paech, Attorney General and Minister of Justice (NT), press release, October 13, 2022

The territory’s Labor government is breaking the cycle of juvenile delinquency through early intervention, prevention and diversion programmes.

We know that the earlier a child comes into contact with the justice system, the longer their involvement is likely to be.

The territory’s Labor government is breaking this cycle by raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12 years. The legislation, presented to Parliament today, will be debated in November.

From the outset, if a child 11 years of age or younger engages in behavior that would normally constitute an offence, it will be dealt with by Northern Territory Police and Territory families who will refer the child and family to intensive parenting programs , as well as behavior change programs. .

Northern Territories Police will continue to investigate and respond to the needs of victims.

There are a number of operational programs and family support services already in place to help families and children who need additional support and diversion options.

Over the coming months, government agencies and service providers will work collaboratively to expand these programs and improve the response to specifically target children 11 and under and their parents when they show signs they may adopt risky behaviors.

The government is increasing accommodation options for children who cannot be immediately returned safely to their homes.

Quotes attributable to Attorney General and Minister of Justice Chansey Paech:

“Territorialians deserve to feel safe and that is why we are focused on achieving positive generational change that will benefit our children, their families and the wider community.

“The evidence is clear, the earlier a child enters the justice system, the more likely they are to re-offend. Punitive measures are not a deterrent for 10 and 11 year olds – in fact, they are more likely to increase behavioral problems and delinquency.

“It’s time to improve our approach to youth justice and break the cycle of youth crime.

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