Page 4351 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 25 October 2017
perfect sense at a principle level to collect the data that enables the tracking of young detainees in the juvenile justice system to assess whether they end up in the adult criminal justice system and in the AMC.
I think, at first blush, it does seem very logical, particularly as the reduction of youth reoffending is a goal in the youth justice blueprint. When we look deeper, it is important to realise that there are a number of issues that need to be considered first before this can just occur. Not least of these, of course, is a young person’s right to privacy. I know Mrs Kikkert referred to that in her remarks. She referred to not wanting to have people stigmatised down the line because we want young people who have been involved in the juvenile justice system to be given a second chance, one that is not marred by a criminal record.
As members are aware, individual privacy protections exist in a number of ways in the ACT, including in the Human Rights Act 2004, the commonwealth Privacy Act 1998 and the ACT Information Privacy Act 2014. That creates quite a legislative framework of privacy considerations that need to be dealt with. I will come back to that in a little while.
Through the parliamentary agreement this government has committed to reducing recidivism by 25 per cent by 2025. That is a very ambitious goal. Some people have expressed some trepidation at setting a goal like that. But I think it is important that we set a goal like that because it helps us shape policy. It helps us shape prioritisation and it means that we are striving for something quite bold. But if we get it right, it will have a very significant impact on the lives of people who have got their lives a little off track or been led astray along the way. If we can break that cycle of repeat offending we can make a real impact on people’s lives.
To best achieve the target, the recidivism plan will be a shared responsibility across both youth and adult justice systems but not just the justice systems. It actually is relevant particularly to the Community Services Directorate, the education directorate, the Health Directorate, through mental health in particular. There is a whole series of places across government where we need to work to make a positive impact on people’s lives and help them overcome some of the factors that play out in later involvement with the criminal justice system.
This will require a really good understanding of what works, supported by planning, innovation, efficiency and community engagement. Critical to this piece of work is the establishment of an agreed definition of what constitutes recidivism against which a reduction can be measured. A recidivism plan will acknowledge the current measures of recidivism in the ACT as reported in the Report on government services.
This is a particular way of measuring it. The Report on government services measures one part of the justice system: whether a person has received a conviction in a court and whether they have received a second conviction within two years. That is the ROGS measure of recidivism. But I think there are other measures that we could contemplate as well. Certainly, the complexity of criminal justice invites us to think about some of those other things.