Department of Human Services

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Minister's message

South Australia’s Youth Justice State Plan 2020–2023 (the State Plan) introduces how we will work with young people, communities, other government agencies and non-government organisations to deliver youth justice services. This plan outlines actions this government is taking to provide high quality services in Youth Justice and through our partnerships to:

  • reduce offending
  • support young people to make positive choices
  • reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal children and young people
  • recognise and support victims of crime
  • at all times, consider the best interests and voices of vulnerable children and young people.

We have an opportunity to learn from a mounting body of state and national evidence, and recent independent reviews, about sustainable ways to reduce criminal offending and help young people reconnect with their families, communities and culture. Addressing this challenge requires a sector-wide approach.

The State Plan sets out six key themes that have been informed through wide community-based consultation. To support our commitment to shared values under these themes, the actions in this State Plan will see the Department of Human Services (DHS) work with partner agencies to produce real change in:

  1. Young people’s wellbeing
  2. Workforce stability and investment
  3. Connected services
  4. Aboriginal cultural connection
  5. Reconnection with community
  6. Business intelligence

The State Government is committed to reform in youth justice services by:

  • Ceasing the use of resident worn spit protection by June 2020
  • Implementing an electronic record-keeping system
  • Reviewing legislation, policy and procedure in relation to the use of isolation, segregation and force at the the Kurlana Tapa Youth Justice Centre
  • Strengthening multi-disciplinary allied health assessment and intervention services to ensure young people with complex needs are supported
  • Prioritising Aboriginal staff recruitment and retention
  • A trial of body-worn cameras to improve safety for young people and staff.

On behalf of the State Government, I thank everyone who contributed to the development of the State Plan and the sector’s ongoing partnership. Together we are driving change toward a contemporary, efficient and effective system which delivers positive, connected and culturally appropriate services and outcomes for children and young people.

Michelle Lensink MLC
Minister for  Human Services

Page last updated : 31 Aug 2021

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