The $8.9m in the State budget for continuation of the Fast Track Remand Court is a great initiative from the Andrews Government. Processing by this Court process reduces the amount of time young people spend on remand and increases the likelihood of being included in diversion programs. The success of diversionary programs around Australia has shown they lead to better outcomes for young people; research shows that diversion is more effective in reducing offending rates than prison sentences.1
The Haven in Shepparton run by the Lighthouse Project rebuilds young people’s lives through a diverse range of activities aimed at keeping kids engaged and building a stronger community. We support their approach and call on the state government to provide additional funding in the youth diversion area to set up a stronger future for our young people.
1Wilson, H. A. and Hoge, R. D. (2013) ‘The Effect of Youth Diversion Programs on Recidivism: A Meta-Analytic Review’, Criminal Justice and Behavior, 40(5), pp. 497–518. doi: 10.1177/0093854812451089.