Australian Capital Territory Budget 2015-16 : For Canberra

Youth Justice Blueprint

The Blueprint for Youth Justice in the ACT 2012-22 continues to demonstrate reducing numbers of young people coming into contact with, or becoming further involved in, the youth justice system; ultimately improving outcomes for young people in the ACT.

  • The rate of young people 10–17 years under youth justice supervision decreased by 29% overall and by 36% for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people from 2011-12 to 2013-14.   
  • The rate of young people 10-17 years under community-based supervision decreased by 28% overall and by 32% for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.  It is now the lowest it has been in the ACT for five years.  
  • The rate of young people 10-17 years in detention decreased by 39% overall and by 53% for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people from 2011-12 to 2013-14.

Justice Reform Strategy

The Justice Reform Strategy is a project to review the sentencing laws and practice in the ACT.  Funding for the strategy was provided by the Government in the 2014-15 Budget. 

The initial focus of the Justice Reform Strategy is to develop recommendations for a community based sentencing alternative to imprisonment.  The strategy will also consider broader reforms, including options relating to restorative justice and therapeutic jurisprudence. 

The Justice and Community Safety Directorate, in partnership with other government directorates and the community sector, is in the early stages of developing justice measures that aim to identify the impact of justice services and support on target cohorts that interact with the justice system.

Human Rights Bill

On 7 May 2015 new human rights laws legislation was agreed in principle by the Legislative Assembly.  The Bill acknowledges the material and economic relationships that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have with the land, waters and other resources, and also strengthens the right to education.  The Bill also makes it clear that children are to be treated as individuals and enjoy the full range of rights under the Human Rights Act 2004. The changes in the Bill represent small but significant enhancements of the protection and enforceability of the right to education and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural rights.

These proposed changes to the Human Rights Act result from the 2014 review of the Act and consultation with the Human Rights Commissioner and the Elected Body.

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