Influencing youth justice decisions

Influencing youth justice decisions

This section is about understanding how information gathered through screening and health assessment can be used to influence youth justice decisions and practice.

Most young people who have first contact with the police will not come back into the system and will not need support or follow up when engaging in any restorative justice or triage process or when processing through police custody.

However there are some young people who, due to their mental health or learning difficulties, will be vulnerable and may be at a higher risk of reoffending. These young people will need more attention and may require a referral to the Youth Justice Liaison and Diversion scheme. We already know that the adult prison population is over represented by people with such difficulties and as such it is vital to identify young people with these vulnerabilities in an attempt to break the cycle.

We must be aware that there are times, when due to the nature of the offence committed or the previous offending history of the young person, that diversion out of the youth justice system is not appropriate. In these instances, health screening may be used as a valuable tool to inform the court process through the use of a pre sentence report or to form part of the disposal option for a magistrate at a youth court.

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