New Policy Submission
The Children’s Legal Issues and Indigenous Issues Committees contributed to the submission into the Legislative Assembly’s Committee on Law and Safety’s Inquiry into the adequacy of youth diversionary programs in NSW.
The Law Society supports measures to divert young offenders from the formal criminal system. Of particular concern is the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people who make up 51 per cent of the NSW juvenile detention population.
The Law Society advocates for increasing the age of criminal responsibility in NSW, meaning that fewer children would be brought into the criminal justice system. This is in line with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recommendations, as well as research that indicates there is a strong link between encountering the justice system at a young age and reoffending later in life. Proper funding of support services for young offenders is crucial to ensuring that the underlying causes of youth offending are addressed.
Among other issues, the submission reflects the Law Society’s support for the Youth Koori Court, early intervention and reinstating the Youth Drug Court.
Read the full document below.