Worth A Second Chance engages and educates the public towards a better youth justice system, where people in crisis are given the support they need to learn from their mistakes and get their lives back on track.
About the campaign
Founded in 2018, Worth A Second Chance engages the general public in calling for a reformed youth justice system underpinned by principles of prevention, early intervention, and restorative justice, and shares a positive and hopeful narrative around young people in trouble.
Through stories, events, social media and action, Worth A Second Chance puts forward a vision for a youth justice system grounded in principles of early intervention, prevention, and restorative justice, which shows our community the possibilities for effective justice reform, and which ultimately contributes to more humane and effective youth justice policies and practices.
Giving young people a second chance works
For many years, Victoria led the country in supporting kids in trouble. There was a common understanding across sectors, including government, police and community, about holding young people who offend accountable while giving them the chance to make amends for their actions.
As a direct result of this approach, we saw long-term decreases in first time and repeat offending. We saw more children and young people reconnecting with family, education, employment and other opportunities.
But recent years have seen a negative shift towards harsh punishments that close the door on kids early, and less investment in proven programs that give them a second chance in life and support them to take advantage of that opportunity.
We’ve seen kids placed in adult prison, longer sentences, more kids locked up unsentenced, and the erosion of the successful dual track system, which keeps young people aged up to 21 out of adult prison environments and in the youth justice system.
This has made it harder for everyone trying to work with kids in crisis – including parents, teachers, carers, youth workers and health professionals. That means worse outcomes for young people and the community.
Instead of helping kids to get their lives back on track, we're setting them up for a lifetime of social and economic exclusion – and that hurts all of us.