CONFERENCE DAY ONE
MONDAY 25 MARCH
8:30 Registration Begins
8:50 Opening Remarks from the Chair:
Bernie Geary, Child Safety Commissioner, Victoria
Indigenous Youth in the Criminal Justice System
9:00 Is Justice Reinvestment an Option for Australia?
Tammy Solonec, Director, National Congress of Australia's First Peoples
9:40 Indigenous Youth Justice Evaluation Project
- Understanding what works' is critical when developing and resourcing effective and appropriate juvenile justice interventions
- The presentation will explore the role of program logic
- Using realistic and practical examples, the presentation will provide a sound basis for policy makers and service providers to begin developing juvenile justice programs that both incorporate and demonstrate quality practice
Dr Daryl Higgins, Deputy Director (Research), Australian Institute of Family Studies
10:10 The Future of Australia's Children's Courts: Findings of a National Study
- The purpose of the Children's Court
- The Children's Court today
- Inputs and throughputs
- Indigenous issues
- Directions for reform
Allan Borowski, Professor, Social Work and Social Policy, La Trobe University
10:40 Morning Refreshments
11:00 Juvenile Parole: A Statutory Framework to Support the Effective Transition from Detention Back into the Community
The proposal is not to add to the term of detention imposed by the court, but to add to the capacity to manage the young offender upon his or her release into the community so that there is time to put in place an effective regime of treatment and advancement in life backed up by the coercive power of a supervised release order. In every Australian jurisdiction relatively minor statutory amendments would be required, although they would be profound in their effect.
The Hon MJ Murray QC, Chairman, Supervised Release Review Board
11:30 Introducing Queensland Boot Camps - Trial Programmes in Sentencing and Prevention of Youth Crime
- The Governments reasoning for attempting the trial
- The legislative provisions - where do they fit into offending
- The early days and comments to date
- What next?
Leanne O'Shea, Magistrate, Brisbane Children's Court
12:00 Mainstream Engagement and Intergenerational Change
- Engaging diverse stakeholders including mainstream volunteers in programs for 'at risk' youth
- Assessment of engagement with mainstream stakeholders
- Large scale replicable deployment of a diversionary program
- Guidelines when using mainstream media to change perceptions
Tess White MBA, Chief Executive Officer, Midnight Basketball Australia
Innovation in Diversion and Early Intervention
1:30 Diversionary Programs Versus Custodial Placements
- The need to look at trauma being the underlying cause for many of the young people committing crime rather than issues with ADD, ADHD etc
Father Riley, CEO, Youth Off The Streets
2:00 Innovative Funding Models
James Toomey, Executive Leader, Community Services, Mission Australia
2:30 The E-merge Program
- The E-merge program is a pilot diversion program which is designed to provide early intervention to offenders of Pacific Islander background who are under the age of 18 at the time of offending and who have committed offences involving violence
- The program will provide specialist interventions which will be implemented within the cultural context of the young person, their family, community and environment
Sergeant Anne McLaughlin, Victoria Police, Prosecutions Division & Tavale Ilalio, Operations Manager from Bridging Worx
3:00 Afternoon Refreshments
3:30 Geelong Youth Support Service: Innovative and responsive services to divert young people from the youth justice system
The Geelong YSS (a partnership initiative between Time for Youth and Victoria Police) provides a singular point of referral for local police coming into contact with vulnerable at-risk' youth, and provides a high quality, timely and holistic case management response. This Geelong YSS response assesses and addresses the underlying causes of offending behaviour, with hallmark features of a youth focused, family centred approach and rigorous holistic assessment processes.
David Jefferson, Time for Youth & Representative to be Advised, Victoria Police
4:00 Supporting Young People on Bail
Save the Children works in partnership with Youth Justice, Tas Police Early Intervention Unit, Department of Education and Magistrates Court, to support young people who have been placed on bail. Our Youth Workers work with young people to identify their educational, vocational and recreational goals and aspirations. At this stage, 73% of young people who have participated in the program have not returned to court and 83% have had a reduction in their sentencing due to their positive involvement with the program.
Lisa Cuatt, Program Manager, Save the Children Australia
4:30 Interactive Panel Discussion: All delegates are invited to participate in a panel with a panel of the day's presenters. The session provides an opportunity for additional questions, along with reflection on:
- Effective policy responses addressing the causes of juvenile reoffending
- When should we intervene in the lives of at-risk young people and their families?
- Mandatory Sentencing - what is the role of politics to demonise young people? How to advance evidence based policy in the face of politics?
Panellists: (to be advised)
5:00 Closing Remarks from the Chair
5:40 Networking Drinks
CONFERENCE DAY TWO
TUESDAY 26 MARCH
8:30 Registration Begins
9:00 Opening Remarks from the Chair:
Tiffany Overall, Advocacy and Human Rights Officer, Youthlaw
Sexting and Sexual Offending
9:10 The Age of Criminal Responsibility and the Criminalisation of Sexting
- the age levels and tests for criminal responsibility (doli incapax)
- challenges to the concept of doli incapax
- the phenomenon of sexting
- the possibility of children facing child pornography charges for sexting
- what sexting reveals about the age of criminal responsibility
Dr Daryl Higgins, Deputy Director (Research), Australian Institute of Family Studies
9:40 Sexual Offending - Innovative Approaches Adopted by the Melbourne Children's Court
- In response to the many challenges and complexities associated with matters involving allegations of sexual abuse; in February 2009 the Melbourne Children's Court introduced a pilot specialist sexual offences list for children and young people charged with sexual offences
- Discussion of key innovations adopted
Magistrate Jenny Bowles, Children's Court, Victoria
Issues for Reform
10:10 Youths in Adult Detention Facilities
A Victorian Case Study: How 16 and 17 year old boys end up in High Security Adult Prison for months spending 22 hours a day in solitary confinement. Is this the best that we can do?
Michael Holcroft, President, Law Institute of Victoria
10:40 Morning Refreshments
Addressing the Causative Factors of Juvenile Offending
11:00 How the Environments Children Grow up in Affect their Brain Development, Mental Health and Risk for Criminal Behaviour?
Nicholas Allen, Professor, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne
11:30 Vulnerable Young People, Institutional Pathways and the Criminal Justice System
Young people with mental and cognitive disability are significantly over-represented in juvenile detention and community juvenile justice programs. The pathway analyses reveal that those with disability, who have highly disadvantaged backgrounds, are not afforded early appropriate support and are funnelled into control and criminal justice systems rather than human services and disability support. The effects of unaddressed poverty, disadvantage, abuse, multiple trauma, poor education services and drug and alcohol use for young persons with disability result in compounded complex needs. Successful supports and interventions that assist in preventing or mitigating these outcomes will be discussed.
Eileen Baldry, Professor of Criminology, School of Social Sciences, UNSW
12:00 Effectiveness of Collaborative Family Work - a Model for Working with Young Offenders and their Families
There is some evidence that working with families of young offenders is likely to lead to lower rates of recidivism. This presentation reports on a current research project offering collaborative family work' to fifty young people in detention centres and their families in rural and remote regions of NSW. Recidivism data will be collected on the young people and on a control group of young people in comparable detention centres where family work is not offered. Information about the model and some early results from the project will be presented at the conference.
Chris Trotter, Professor & Director, Monash Criminal Justice Research Consortium
Transitional Support and the Role of Education
1:30 Young People Transitioning from Out-of-Home Care in Victoria: Strengthening Interagency Collaboration, Leaving Care Plans and Post-Care Support Services for Dual Clients of Child Protection and Youth Justice
A significant proportion of young people leaving Out of Home Care (OHC) make their transition to independence via the Youth Justice (YJ) system, exposing them to further risks and reducing their likelihood of full social and economic engagement in mainstream society. Seventy-seven key stakeholders participated in interviews and focus groups with a view to identifying practices and policies that could reduce the over-representation of young people leaving OHC in the YJ system. Findings pointed to a need for more formalised interagency collaboration, and intensification of the interventions and supports offered both in custodial settings and post discharge from custody or care.
Philip Mendes, Associate Professor & Director Social Inclusion and Social Policy Research Unit, Monash University
2:00 The Impact of Employment on Juvenile Offending - Whitelion's First Two years in NSW
In 2008 the Department of Juvenile Justice in NSW funded Whitelion to run an employment program specifically targeting young offenders. This presentation will highlight the role that corporate Australia can play in addressing this issue and results of Whitelion's program over the first 18 months of operation.
Peter Muir, Consultant to White Lion
2:30 The Inescapable Role of Education Within Juvenile Justice
It is impossible to escape the critical role of education for those within juvenile justice. Victoria is attempting a bold and radical initiative that seeks to locate education at the heart of rehabilitation and self-development within its Juvenile Justice Custodial Settings by creating Parkville College - A new Victorian Government School that operates all day, everyday, for 365 days per year with an education that is not restricted alone to academic progression but that is directed towards improving the lives of its students and ultimately our society. This talk aims to illuminate the core components of educational best practice and innovation that will provide opportunities for transformative personal change for those within juvenile justice while creating a template for education reform outside the walls' of juvenile justice.
Brendan Murray, Assistant Principal, Parkville College
3:00 Chrysalis: Re-integration not Rehabilitation
- Positive reinforcement is superior to punishment in altering behaviour
- It's not about rehabilitation it's about Reintegration
- Thoughts become things...
- The Chrysalis Programme is a personal development programme that engages, inspires and compels individuals to make sustainable change to their lives
David Apparicio, Founder and CEO, Chrysalis Foundation
3:30 Afternoon Refreshments
Restorative Justice: Challenges and Outcomes
4:00 Restorative Justice and Emotion: Understanding Variation in Process Outcomes
One of the interesting and persistent (but perhaps disappointing) findings to emerge in recent restorative justice research is that a sizable minority of restorative justice encounters can be described as anything but restorative.
For this presentation I draw on qualitative interview data from 50 young offenders who attended a youth justice conference to explore how the emotional transactions of apology and forgiveness feature in these encounters and suggest ways of understanding variation in process outcomes. My analysis raises questions about restorative justice's ability to achieve the key aim of restoration. I conclude by developing alternative ways of understanding what restorative justice is and what it should do.
Hennessey Hayes, Senior Lecturer, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University
4:30 Oral Language Competence and Young Offenders
- Our research on community and custodial young male offenders over the last decade has shown that around 50% have a clinically significant yet undiagnosed oral language (talking and listening) disorder that is significant enough to reach a clinical threshold
- Unrecognised language deficits may masquerade as rudeness or indifference, thus further disadvantaging the young person. Language difficulties may also compromise a young person's understanding of legal process, e.g., bail conditions
- In addition to early intervention implications for high-risk boys, our findings have significant implications for both counselling and restorative practices, given the highly verbal nature of such approaches
Pamela Snow, Associate Professor, School of Psychology and Psychiatry, Bendigo Regional Clinical School Monash University
5:00 Capacity Issues in Restorative Processes; Our Experiences, the Research and Future Goals
- Explore breadth of the term capacity'( eg including doli incapax)
- The impact of capacity and oral competency issues in restorative processes
- Our observations and experience in particular about systemic and cyclical issues for cross-over' young people
- Strategies for conference coordinators to address capacity issues to assist in increasing a young person's ability to understand and participate in a restorative conference process
Lizzie Stokes & Christine Sheeley, Youth Justice Coordinators, Conferencing Unit, South Australia
5:30 Closing Remarks from the Chair
5:40 Close of Conference