The Victorian Government is developing a new approach to crime prevention with a focus on early intervention and prevention to address the root causes of crime and provide better outcomes for people. An exploratory session was held in Shepparton on 6 December 2019. Staff and Board members of the Ethnic Council were in attendance.
A key focus of this work was preventing those who are most at-risk of contact with the justice system from engaging in antisocial behaviour and offending in the first place.
The focus of the workshop spanned from General population to those becoming vulnerable, those at risk, those in contact with the Justice System, inclusion into the criminal justice system (such as individuals in correctional facilities, youth justice and community orders), and events post-justice system.
Influencing and supporting roles in a proposed crime prevention strategy were considered. Community based and place based early intervention approaches were discussed, targeting social, environmental and community risk factors.
Integrated delivery has been found to be effective and workable, but now the focus is to deliver at scale and systematically
Criminal Justice Services will place clients at the centre of delivery to make sure that services reflect and take into account whole of life needs, recognising the continued need to deliver improved community safety
These clients are:
- Young people in residential care at risk of coming into contact with the justice system
- Young men in youth justice experiencing complex mental health and drug and alcohol issues
- Men with complex mental health and drug and alcohol issues in contact with the justice system
- Women who are over represented in the prison system as a result of poverty and homelessness
It is expected that further development and refining of the strategy will take place early 2020.
There are a significant number of programs in Shepparton which blend in with the efficacy of the proposed criminal justice strategy. Therapeutic justice was mentioned as an important element.