In the first episode of our relaunched podcast, Liana Buchanan – the principal commissioner at the Commission for Children and Young People in Victoria – discusses her office’s role in scrutinising conditions inside detention facilities, the harm caused by ‘tough-on-crime’ media narratives and some of the effective practices within Victoria’s justice system she wants to see protected.
“In Victoria, we are fortunate that we actually do quite well at diverting children and young people out of custody,” she told us.
“Compared to other parts of the country, we have relatively low rates of young people in custody. But on the other hand, what that means is those children and young people who do end up in youth justice custody are more likely to have particularly complex needs, particularly significant experiences of trauma, or other factors that are going to mean the kind of effort that needs to go into supporting those young people – working with them to understand the drivers of their offending, providing the right sophistication of response – all that is needed at a pretty high level.”
As we head towards a Victorian State election later in 2022, Worth A Second Chance will continue to foster a more positive narrative about effective and humane approaches to hold young people to account for their actions and to support them down a better path. In our podcast, Ms Buchanan touches on the importance of a more positive public narrative.
“If you look to punish and apply an intensely security-focused approach to young people, it absolutely backfires.”
“Our settings have improved, our centres have improved, but the system still has a long way to go. I’m incredibly fearful that the narrative will return to this punitive, tough on kids, ‘law and order’ kind of approach. And we know that doesn’t work – that if you look to punish and apply an intensely security-focused approach to young people, it absolutely backfires.”
Worth A Second Chance is a community campaign calling for a more fair, humane and effective youth justice system.
Listen to Liana Buchanan’s episode: jesuit.social/wasc-podcast
Find out how you can be involved in the campaign by visiting worthasecondchance.com.auDONATE NOW