Tasmanian Children’s Commissioner promotes smart alternatives to youth detention

Tasmania’s acting Commissioner for Children Elizabeth Daly has released the Alternatives to Secure Youth Detention in Tasmania report advocating for a justice reinvestment framework. The report calls for young offenders to be diverted away from the criminal justice system in compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The report will shift focus away from policing and youth detention to the underlying causes or risk factors which cause youth offending, such as family breakdown, mental illness, disengagement from education and drug and alcohol dependence. With these risk factors in mind, the report recommends that necessary community supports be put in place to ensure young people can complete community-based orders and have access to appropriate housing, drug and alcohol and social support services. The changes are expected to save a significant amount of money currently required to run the heavily criticised Ashley Youth Detention Centre.