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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 3232 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

who come into contact with Youth Justice Services are at high risk of being continually socially isolated unless such strategies are carefully implemented. It is particularly important to recognise the need to address the causes of offending behaviours, which are often complex and call for intense and sensitive support of the offenders.

Also important is the need to ensure as much as possible that young people are empowered to participate in the community through education and employment training. If this occurs, in combination with supported post-release programs, most of these young people could look forward to fulfilling lives as positive and contributing members of our community. Any costs incurred in providing this support would be repaid many times over in the lives of individuals and their families, as well as in the broader community.

Quamby has, in recent years, made significant advances. However, there is no room for complacency. There are several areas where resourcing and support need to be reviewed or improved. There needs to be continual evaluation of programs as well as practices in the centre. It is challenging work, and staff need to be well supported and provided with regular and ongoing professional development and training opportunities. The lives of the young people in their care hang in the balance; we will all benefit if the balance is tipped the right way.

MR BERRY (10.35): Mr Speaker, this has been an extremely interesting, though reasonably short, inquiry into a matter of serious import to the territory. It is a matter that most people in the community would not be closely aware of because their families may not have been affected by the incarceration of a family member in circumstances nobody would wish on a neighbour, but it is a social responsibility that we have to provide facilities to deal with young people in difficulty with the law. These facilities are not particularly pleasant places, but we are dealing with a special group of young people who desperately need help. We are obliged to ensure that these young people end up with better outcomes as a result of their contact with these facilities.

Of considerable concern early on in the piece was whether the transfer of Youth Justice Services into Corrections was a good idea. We have examined this matter fairly closely. There were some changes of opinion in the course of writing the report but, in the end, the committee recommended, at recommendation 13:

... that the Government ensure that:

the administration and operation of Youth Justice Services remains separate from the administration of adult corrections;-

we think that is an important recommendation that the government should stay finely focused on-


there is no diminution in real terms of resourcing to Youth Justice Services.

It is always most striking to me to visit a corrections centre. It has a particular impact on me, whether it is adult corrections or any other sorts of corrections. Taking away someone's liberty is an extremely serious matter. In the case of young people, as with other people in a corrections centre, we have a responsibility for their rehabilitation and

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