Page 4352 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 25 October 2017

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It is something we thought about really carefully through measuring the impact of the extended through-care program where we have examples of people who, in their adult lives, have never spent more than four or five weeks out of custody. Through support from the extended through-care program they have been able to spend six months out of custody before reoffending. They have reoffended, but I think you can see that that is a positive intervention in somebody’s life and, hopefully, the beginning of further, more extended periods out of custody. I think there is both some careful thinking and some interesting debate about what measures we take of how we reduce recidivism.

There is a range of other measures that can be employed to measure recidivism, such as police discretion when dealing with offenders, using diversion options like restorative justice and court responses that may prove an offence but not record a conviction. All of these are valid considerations in this discussion.

Another critical component of a recidivism plan, if we are going to achieve a 25 per cent reduction in recidivism, will be to establish a coordinated and accountable response across operational areas of the justice system, from program design to delivery and information-sharing, which includes data linkage opportunities and evaluation.

Developing what it is going to take to meet recidivism targets, as I have outlined, is a complex piece of work because there is no single solution. No single piece of work is going to change that figure by itself in the period we are looking at. As I said earlier, it will require the combined efforts of a range of government agencies, but also a range of community partners and participation from those who have been involved in custody.

Of course, we have a range of things happening already. Ms Stephen-Smith has spoken about the youth justice task force in her comments. I would like to note the importance of communication between the task force and the Moss review steering committee, which is looking at some of these issues, because there are a number of conclusions in the Moss review that are relevant to this discussion today.

Recommendation 9 of the Moss review consolidated the conclusions mentioned through the report. One of these conclusions was that the AMC management could have access to all relevant information. Another conclusion of the Moss review is that justice youth information should be available to the AMC when it is assessing the accommodation placement for new detainees.

Additionally, the Glanfield inquiry recommended there be more information sharing and collaboration. Whilst the recommendations were made in the context of family violence and safety of individuals within that context, there is possibly scope for relevant information about juvenile detention history to be shared if it enhances the welfare and wellbeing of the young person or to manage risk to safety.

ACT Corrective Services is working with child and youth protection services on establishing a framework for information sharing. This will allow AMC staff to have access to relevant information regarding a detainee’s prior history in the ACT youth

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