Tuesday, July 09, 2013

New manual to help manage teenage offenders

Relationships Australia NT has teamed up with the NT Police to release a case management resource for people working with young offenders in the Territory.

The Youth Diversion Case Management Resource is the first of its kind in the Northern Territory and was launched by the Honourable Chief Minister Adam Giles in Alice Springs yesterday.

Relationships Australia NT Chief Executive Officer Marie Morrison said the resource will achieve better outcomes for young people going through the NT justice system.

“Relationships Australia NT is delighted to share this resource with other community based organisations who provide Youth Diversion Programs throughout the NT,” Ms Morrison said.

“The resource is built on our 10 year history of working with offenders under 18 years in Alice Springs and providing programs that lead them away from crime and disadvantage.”

Ms Morrison said Relationships Australia NT’s youth diversion program is modelled on restorative justice community programs, which include offenders meeting and apologising to the victims of their crimes.

“There is clear evidence that restorative justice community programs produce significantly less rates of recidivism and reoffending than incarceration,” she said.

“The model produces better long-term results for offenders, their families and the community.”

Relationships Australian NT services approximately 3500 Territorians annually with more than 20 per cent of whom are Aboriginal.

Youth Diversion caseloads that the organisation manages have doubled over the past ten years, with up to 80 per cent young Aboriginal males aged between 10 and 17 years.

“The Youth Diversion Case Management Resource is for all workers in case management and is hoped to better help these young people and produce lasting change.”  

Youth diversion programs managed by Relationships Australia NT have included drum making, drum  beat workshops, a Desert Park Leadership Program and a young women’s leadership program.

This year Relationships Australia NT will work with other community organisations and extend its youth diversion programs to remote communities in the MacDonnell Shire region.

For more information please visit www.nt.relationships.org.au/.

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