Status in progress
Domain
4. Greater self-determination in the justice sector
Goal
4.1 Greater accountability for justice outcomes
Outcome
4.1.1 Independent oversight of Aboriginal justice outcomes
Status
In progress
Agency
Youth Justice, Department of Justice and Community Safety

Where we are up to 

The Youth Justice Taskforce Reference Group agreed that the Commission for Children and Young People (the Commission) would present data gathered through both the Taskforce and the Inquiry in a combined report. The Commission is continuing its work to produce this draft report. Over 30 stakeholders, including youth justice services, Aboriginal organisations and community members have been consulted since the Commission’s previous update in March.

Research and data analysis continues for the Inquiry, however significant delays have occurred since the onset of COVID-19. A range of data requests have been made with various agencies, and some of those remain outstanding. A final cut-off date has been introduced, after which further data will not be able to be incorporated.

An analysis of actions from individual case planning sessions (otherwise known as private sessions) has been conducted. Out of 309 actions, it shows that approximately 46 per cent of actions were acquitted, 41 per cent remained open, and 13 per cent were closed (e.g. due to circumstances changing). Youth Justice is committed to ensure all actions from the individual case planning sessions are fully acquitted and to providing updates to the Commission for Children and Young People on the progress of this.

Regional forum action plans templates are still being finalised and will be made available to Youth Justice prior to the next Aboriginal Justice Forum (AJF). The intention is for the Aboriginal Justice Caucus to approve them for use by Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committees (RAJACs) and service agencies involved in the Taskforce regional forums. Two regions (South West, and East/South Metro) have recently responded with updates on the actions created at regional forums.

Current timelines indicate that a draft of the Taskforce/Inquiry report will be provided for comment in October, with the intention of tabling the report in parliament at the earliest date in 2021. 

Background

The Aboriginal Youth Justice Taskforce (the Taskforce) is a key initiative of Burra Lotjpa Dunguludja. The initiative is a collaboration between the Commission for Children and Young People and the Department of Justice and Community Safety. The Taskforce is examining the cases of all Aboriginal children and young people on Youth Justice Orders (between 1 October 2018 and 31 March 2019). The Taskforce aims to: 

  • address issues that impact on the cultural connectedness and social and emotional wellbeing of the young person/s
  • review and update the interventions and supports offered to children and young people currently in Youth Justice 
  • identify and address the systemic issues contributing to the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children and young people in Youth Justice.