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Clearer information for young people navigating the Youth Justice system

2022-08-16

Imagine you are 14 years old and living with communications difficulties. You are entering the Youth Justice system and you’re confronted with complex documents that are full of long words and heavy in officialese. Not only that, but the likelihood of reoffending and future detention could depend on how well you understand and follow these documents. It can be a daunting situation.

Many young people in the Youth Justice system find it harder to read, write, talk, listen and understand information than their peers, however they are often faced with complex information.

Youth-friendly documents

DHS is helping them better understand vital information with a selection of new Youth-Friendly documents that use simple language and an image-rich design.

These documents include the rules for the young person’s home detention ankle bracelet and a clear explanation of their mandate and bail conditions. The documents were created with feedback from young people, Community Youth Justice staff, and cultural advisors to ensure that the words and images were accurate, accessible and meaningful.

Understanding has improved

Staff who trialled these documents reported that young people understood their conditions better and showed improved compliance, leading to fewer breaches and less time in custody.

The resources were created by senior speech pathologists from the Youth Justice Assessment and Intervention Service (YJAIS) at DHS and more resources will be updated in the Youth Friendly format in future.

Example document

A screen shot example of a Youth Friendly document explaining the rules young people need to follow when on home detention.

More information

Email Lead Psychologist Amanda White or phone 0498 069 214.

Page last updated : 16 Aug 2022

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