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Extended Programme Benefits Young Offenders


27 July 1999

Disadvantaged young law breakers have been given further help with the launch today of the Victorian Young Offender Pilot Programme by the Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Trish Worth.

Ms Worth said the Government recognised that young people who came into contact with the juvenile justice system often came from disadvantaged backgrounds.

"The lives of young people who have been in juvenile detention are characterised by unemployment, lack of education, alcohol and substance abuse and family breakdown.

"The Commonwealth Government is committed to helping these young people overcome problems like these so they can find work or continue their education and build a long term future.

As part of this commitment, the Commonwealth has funded, in conjunction with State Governments, the Young Offenders’ Pilot Programme in Victoria and Queensland.
The pilot projects target juvenile offenders ranging from 13-20 years old and helps them in a wide number of ways, from encouraging changes in destructive behaviour to the development of skills for a more positive lifestyle or arranging work and training opportunities .

However Ms Worth said that it was essential to recognise that governments could not do everything on their own.

"Goals can be achieved by working in partnership with service providers, communities and State Governments, sharing commitment, skills and resources.

"This innovative Young Offenders’ Pilot Programme is a great example of how working in partnership can make a real difference to the lives of young people," said Ms Worth.
The pilot projects started in December 1998 with five projects throughout Victoria and two in Queensland. More young people will be assisted under the programme with future services planned for Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

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