Home detention to be expanded in a bid to rehabilitate young offenders
Home detention will be more available as a sentencing and early release option in a bid to incentivise the rehabilitation of young offenders under new laws passed by State Parliament.
The Youth Justice Administration Act, which has just passed parliament, balances the vulnerability of children and young people, their rehabilitation and community safety.
Communities and Social Inclusion Minister Zoe Bettison said incarceration should be a last resort for young people.
"The expanded use of home detention as a sentencing and early release option supports the principle that detention in a training centre should be a last resort for children and young people," Ms Bettison said.
"These reforms, part of the State Government's Transforming Criminal Justice agenda, seek to improve outcomes for children, young people and their families, as well as the wider community.
"Young people on home detention receive case management services and access to community-based support while being closely monitored using a 24 hour GPS monitoring system."
"Through home detention, young people are able to maintain important connections with their family and community and continue or participate in education or training opportunities. Often the community-based services can also continue to provide support when the home detention period ends."
"We want to ensure that children and young people in the justice system are inspired to change and participate positively in their community."
Under the Youth Justice Administration Act 2016, a ceiling age of 21 has been put in place. Previously, young adults sentenced for juvenile offences were permitted to be held in youth detention.
"We have listened to the concerns of the training centre staff and their representatives," Ms Bettison said.
"These new laws have been developed through considerable consultation with the youth justice sector and the community."
The legislation contains provisions to enhance the safe and secure administration of the Adelaide Youth Training Centre, at Cavan, as well as specific provisions for the supervision of young people in the community.
"In South Australia, young people aged between 10 and 17 years have a different level of accountability before the law," Ms Bettison said.
"This is why we need a more streamlined legislative framework to exercise the government's youth justice powers and functions."