Where we are up to
An evaluation of crime prevention programs for Aboriginal young people in 2019 examined the Community Initiatives Program (CIP), Frontline Youth Initiatives Program and Koori Youth Crime Prevention Grants Program. This internal evaluation, conducted by the Koori Justice Unit in partnership with the Crime Prevention Unit, assessed the effectiveness of grant funding arrangements for these programs, as well as the effectiveness of the design and delivery of these programs in increasing protective factors for Aboriginal young people.
The evaluation found that Aboriginal young people involved in these programs generally showed an increased sense of belonging, increased self-esteem and positive self-identity, and an increased sense of responsibility for their actions. Program staff reported that these positive outcomes had a “ripple effect” through to family members, caregivers and other community members.
However, the evaluation also found that the design of programs could be strengthened by better tailoring promotion and activities to focus on high-risk young people and target specific age groups.
A key finding of the evaluation was the opportunity to strengthen Aboriginal justice outcomes, improve collaboration and sustainability among community organisations, and enhance Aboriginal self-determination through moving to a new funding model, which consolidates prevention and early intervention related grant funding.
This funding will instead be allocated equally across the nine justice regions, with each Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee (RAJAC) determining how to distribute funds in line with local justice priorities. The Aboriginal Justice Caucus endorsed the new funding model, which is currently being implemented under the new Grant Management Framework.
The Frontline grants program commenced in 2005. The grants provide communities with opportunities to deliver community-based initiatives that engage Aboriginal children and young people at risk of contact with the criminal justice system in pro-social and physically healthy activities. CIP commenced in 2002. The grants provide communities with opportunities to develop pilot initiatives and undertake research that will reduce negative contact between the community and the criminal justice system. The Frontline and CIP grants programs are offered every second year to support programs that are initiated by the Aboriginal community who play leading roles in the program development and delivery of initiatives to Aboriginal Victorians.