Jesuit Social Services welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Legislative Assembly Committee on Law and Safety’s inquiry into the adequacy of youth diversionary programs in NSW.
Effective youth justice responses recognise the underlying factors that contribute to offending, and seek to address them and prevent entrenchment in the justice system.
In our submission we provide positive and effective examples of youth justice diversion. The examples are grounded in Jesuit Social Services’ extensive work with vulnerable young people in Victoria, Northern Territory and NSW, as well as findings from our recent #JusticeSolutions study tour to the United States and Europe.
We also call for the age of criminal responsibility in NSW to be raised to 14, in line with international standards embodied in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.