The youth justice system in Victoria focuses on the safety of the community and diverting young people away from further crime. It supervises young people on court orders in the community and manages young people in custodial centres.

Youth justice provides programs and resources to assist young offenders to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to manage their lives effectively without further offending. The youth justice service promotes opportunities for rehabilitation and seeks to contribute to the reduction of crime in the community through supervision, offending related programs and linkages to appropriate support services.

Youth justice provides developmentally appropriate services, programs and targeted interventions that focus on addressing anti-social and offending behaviours in order to minimise the likelihood of reoffending and further progression into the criminal justice system.

Youth Justice reforms

Since mid-last year, the Victorian Government has announced a range of important reforms that targets violent offending and keeps our community safe. These include:

  • an independent review of Victoria’s youth justice system, the most comprehensive in 17 years, to help strengthen and modernise Victoria’s youth justice system, backed up by $50 million to respond to the review’s priority recommendations. This includes the biggest ever expansion to youth justice rehabilitation programs
  • $72 million to fortify and strengthen existing facilities at the Parkville and Malmsbury youth justice precincts to meet modern custodial standards
  • additional youth justice staff and an improved youth justice custodial staffing strategy
  • passing new legislation to increase penalties for young people committing serious and violent crimes, and for young people committing assaults and property damage in youth justice centres
  • $7.6 million in Youth Crime Prevention Grants to help local communities tackle the underlying causes of youth crime and recidivism through early intervention and diversion programs
  • more than $4 million over three years for eight Empower Youth programs across the state to support young people at risk of family breakdown, early school leaving, or those who are disengaged from education and their communities
  • $6.3 million to create a specialist 2-bed secure forensic mental health unit for young people in youth justice custodial facilities who need acute inpatient treatment
  • $4.2 million boost for extra psychiatry, psychology, psychiatry nursing and occupational therapy services that will target young people in custody or in the community.

The Government has commenced one of the biggest Victoria Police recruitment campaigns in Victorian history, supporting a $2 billion boost to police numbers and resources.

More than 3000 new police officers will be recruited over the next five years providing significant benefits for communities across Victoria.