From last Friday, changes to the Children, Young Persons and their Families legislation will mean a tougher role for the Youth Court in addressing offending by young people.

The reforms include: widening the Youth Court jurisdiction to include 12 and 13 year olds who commit serious offences,  creating tougher, more effective sentences for persistent and serious offenders, including longer residential stays and increased supervision requirements, and providing new powers for the Youth Court to order parenting, mentoring and drug and alcohol programmes.

Research shows early intervention makes a difference.  These changes also mean those youth offenders at the lower end of the scale are dealt with effectively before their offending escalates.

These ‘Fresh Start’ reforms will give young people have a better chance of getting their lives on track and make our communities safer.