Latest News - Smart Justice for Young People


March 07, 2018

New youth justice report highlights how punitive responses don’t work

The Victorian Parliament’s Legal and Social Issues Committee final report  from its Inquiry into Youth Justice Centres in Victoria keeps a focus on some major systemic issues of our youth justice centres and system.


February 06, 2018

The conversation Victoria has to have: putting youth crime ‘to bed’

Police Commissioner Graham Ashton was right to say recently that we cannot look to police to put the issue of youth crime ‘to bed’. Equally we cannot look to police officers placed in high-risk secondary schools to combat youth crime. We are talking about bigger social issues than police can solve.


December 14, 2017

Federal parliamentary migration report makes unfounded call to cancel young offenders’ visas

SJ4YP rejects outright a recommendation that would allow the deportation of children under 18 who commit crimes.


November 22, 2017

Victoria must heed lessons from NTRC, national reform needed to overhaul broken youth justice systems

Smart Justice for Young People (SJ4YP) welcomes the recommendations made by the Northern Territory Royal Commission (NTRC) into child protection and youth detention and urges every Australian government to take immediate action to reform its youth justice systems.


September 18, 2017

How education is unlocking potential for kids in youth justice

Right now, it’s crunch time for Victoria’s 20,000 Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) students.  With less than three months until graduation, VCAL students around the state are racing against the clock to finalise projects that demonstrate their literacy and numeracy capabilities, personal development and work related skills.


August 14, 2017

Victorian Government must realign its youth justice agenda in light of major review

The Victorian Government must realign its youth justice reform agenda to reflect its acceptance of a major review into the system.


August 07, 2017

Major youth justice review sends clear message to Victoria: kids must come first

The widest review of Victoria’s youth justice system has sent a clear message to the Victorian Government: the needs of children must come first.


June 07, 2017

Youth Justice Reforms, PSO Bill: A Joint Open Letter to the Attorney-General and Ministers Mikakos and Neville

Dear Attorney-General and Ministers Mikakos and Neville,

Re. Youth Justice Reform Bill and the Protective Service Officers Bill

We, the undersigned, including leaders from the youth services, youth justice, legal, health and social advocacy sector and other key stakeholders, express our deep concerns about some changes proposed in the Children and Justice Legislation Amendment (Youth Justice Reform Bill) and the Justice Legislation Amendment (Protective Service Officers and Other Matters) Bill, both tabled in Parliament on 24th May 2017.


May 24, 2017

Youth justice reforms miss the mark, risk further harm to the community

Smart Justice for Young People (SJ4YP) is deeply concerned and disappointed by the youth justice reforms introduced by the Victorian Government today.


May 11, 2017

It’s indisputable: Victorian Government must get kids out of Barwon adult prison

Youth advocates are urging the Victorian Government to swiftly reverse the mistake of holding kids in Barwon adult prison, following a Supreme Court decision today that deemed it unlawful. Human Rights Law Centre successfully led the challenge on behalf of 15 affected children.


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