Youth Diversion Program

WHAT IS YOUTH DIVERSION?

Youth Diversion is an early intervention program aimed at diverting young people from the formal justice system, mainly Court.

If a young person is successful in the program they avoid going to court and getting a criminal record. 

The program normally lasts from 3-4 months from file allocation to closing a file. (It can vary in time depending of certain circumstances) last longer in special circumstances).

WHO TAKES PART IN YOUTH DIVERSION?

The Youth Diversion process has four participating members:

  • The young person who has committed an offence
  • Their nominated Responsible Adult (RA)
  • The YWCA case worker
  • The NT Police case manager, from the Youth Diversion Unit

WHO CAN BE REFERRED TO YOUTH DIVERSION?

Referrals of young people to the program come directly from the Northern Territory Police or the Youth Court. There are no other avenues for referrals.  Under the NT Youth Justice Act (February 2012) all young people who have been involved in offending behaviour should be offered the opportunity of Youth Diversion. It is the Youth Diversion Police Sargent who decides if they are referred to the YWCA for assessment of suitability. 

The young people referred are aged 10-18 years old.

WHAT IS RESTORATIVE JUSTICE?

The YWCA Youth Diversion Program is informed by Restorative Practice.

In restorative justice, an offence is defined as the harm that is done to a person or the community.

Restorative justice creates the opportunity for the young person to focus on solving any issues and repairing any harm they have caused.

In restorative justice the victim is heard, they are involved in the process of deciding how the young person can make amends and repair the harm caused.

Restorative Justice encourages the young person to take responsibility for their actions and the harm caused.

Restorative Justice focuses on the positives of the young person while assisting them to understand the consequences of their actions.

In the Youth Diversion Program, Restorative Practice is demonstrated through the approach to working with young people, their families and also through the practice of those involved. For example, the types of questions asked, using a ‘strengths based’ approach to assessment and case work, and the conferences offered.

The program has been very successful with the majority of clients successfully completing diversion. There have been several cases of excellent results for clients. Several have gained apprenticeships and others work as a direct result of their involvement with diversion.

For more information, contact us at: 

Download the brochure here.
P: 8920 6700
E: ydpcoord@ywcaofdarwin.org.au
Freecall: 1800 280 588

 

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