Young people playing hacky-sack.

Fresh Start for young offenders

The Fresh Start for young offenders’ reforms are legislated by the Children, Young Persons and their Families (Youth Courts Jurisdiction and Orders) Amendment Act which takes effect on 1 October 2010.

Young people who commit offences should be held to account, but they also need the right support and interventions to address their offending behaviour and turn their lives around.

The Youth Justice Fresh Start reforms will enable us to work more intensively with serious and persistent young offenders over a longer period of time. With the help of this more sustained support, they have a better chance of getting their lives on track.

Fresh Start places a greater focus on identifying the young person’s level of risk and needs, and offers a comprehensive range of options to address the underlying causes of the young person’s offending behaviour.

The Fresh Start reforms:

  • create tougher, more effective sentences for persistent and serious offenders, including longer residential stays and increased supervision requirements
  • provide new powers for the Youth Court to order parenting, mentoring, and drug and alcohol programmes

The select committee is still considering whether further changes need to be made to legislation around the management of child offenders.

The Fresh Start package also includes a number of initiatives aimed at helping children and young people at the lower end of offending, or at risk of getting into trouble.

Young people playing hacky-sack.
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