Youth justice reforms out for public comment
Proposed new legislation aimed at enhancing community safety and reducing re-offending by young people in the criminal justice system has been released today for public comment.
Communities and Social Inclusion Minister Zoe Bettison says the draft Youth Justice Administration Bill will improve outcomes for children, young people and their families, as well as enhance community safety.
"The proposed legislation will support contemporary practices in young offender management and in the administration of youth justice," Ms Bettison said.
"The Bill includes the expanded use of home detention as a sentencing and early release option, supporting the principle that detention should be a last resort for young people.
"It also deals with the issue of people over the age of 18 in youth detention including setting a maximum age of 21, periodical reviews of individual cases and measures to prevent offenders returning to youth detention once they have served time in an adult prison.
"The draft Bill has been developed through considerable consultation. It is now open for public comment for the next three weeks and I encourage anyone with an interest in youth justice to provide feedback."
The guiding principles of the proposed legislation have been developed to achieve a balance between recognition of the vulnerability of children and young people, responding to rehabilitation needs in the youth justice system and the importance of community safety.
The draft legislation contains provisions that enhance the safe and secure administration of the Adelaide Youth Training Centre, as well as specific provisions for the supervision of young people in the community.
In South Australia, young people aged between 10 and 17 years have a different level of accountability before the law.
"This is why we need a more streamlined legislative framework to exercise the government's youth justice powers and functions," Ms Bettison said.
"The development of the draft Bill is part of the State Government's Transforming Criminal Justice reform agenda led by the Attorney-General."
Ms Bettison said she hopes to introduce the legislation into Parliament next month. To view or provide feedback on the draft Bill, visit http://www.dcsi.sa.gov.au/about-us/departmental-legislative-framework.