Australian Police

Australian Police

The Thin Blue Line – Australian Police



Young Offenders Act

Young Offenders Act
How it works.

Conferencing Steps.

Who may be involved in a conference.


Common questions and answers.


  • This procedure has several benefits over “a day in court”.
  • the offender and victim must both agree on the outcome
  • the offender must speak for him or herself
  • the victim is given the opportunity to speak
  • all participants are actively involved.






This system involves no more time investment by officers than is currently the case. It simply offers other more effective options.This Act can actually result in less work (long term) as it deters young persons from re-offending. At most, it involves the same amount of work (court vs. conference).

Act provides clearer guidelines for police in dealing with young offenders.

It diverts first offenders away from the system, allowing Police to focus on recidivists.

This is not a “soft option” but a means of using alternatives to achieve a better, more permanent result – a “smarter” option.

Cautions are effective. The majority of young people who appear at Children’s Court only do it once. Police cautions can have the same effect as a court-given caution.

Young people have rights and responsibilities. This Act helps to clarify these.Police have the option of using a warning or a caution. One mistake doesn’t have to mean court.

Conferencing can help young people get to grips with the reasons for their offending. It expands their options for dealing with them.

Conferencing is fair. Offenders must confront their victims & the mutually agreed penalty is legally enforceable (if it fails, they wind up in court).

This system makes young people more responsible than the current system, which many perceive as giving only a “slap on the wrist”. It gets to the causes of the problem by requiring offenders to face the consequences of their crime (s).Under the Act, victims have a very real role to plait, which they do not have in the traditional judicial system.

Parents are recognized and included in any justice process that involves their children.

Making young people aware of the impact of their actions can reduce the level of recidivism and thus the long-term financial and social cost of incarceration.

Includes victims in the justice system by seeking active participation in the outcome plan.

The process is designed to provide a high level of victim satisfaction.

Very serious crimes still dealt with by the court.

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