The release today of the 2021 Report on Government Services (RoGS) on Youth Justice lays bare the damage being done by inaction from the Andrews Labor Government.
Youth reoffending is on the rise in Victoria with the latest data from 2017-18 revealing over 60 per cent of young people released from sentenced supervision, aged 10–16 years at the time of release, now return to sentenced supervision within 12 months.
This figure has increased by 50 per cent under the Andrews Labor Government.
During the 2019-20 financial year, Victoria spent $25 million more than New South Wales on Youth Justice detention-based services, despite having two-thirds as many young people in the youth justice detention system.
Victoria’s overall spend on youth justice has increased by 7 per cent to $247.8 million since the previous year, despite a decrease in the number of young people in the youth justice system.
The Andrews Labor Government’s inability to take control of youth justice inmates has been borne out in the increasing costs involved in housing a young person in detention.
It now costs $2,500 per day per inmate, which is a 9.2 per cent increase over the last 12 months and a staggering 61 per cent increase since 2014-15. Of the east coast states, Victoria has by far the highest expenditure per night of detention, despite having the lowest number of young people in detention.
Youth justice staff continue to be assaulted at work at the Parkville and Malmsbury Youth Justice Centres. During 2019-20, 13 staff were injured as a result of a serious attack. This is a 30 per cent increase on the previous year and more assault on staff than there were in rest of the country combined.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Youth Justice, Brad Battin:
“Daniel Andrews has ignored the chaos and dysfunction in Victoria’s youth justice system, placing lives at risk.
“Staff working in youth justice are in constant danger but are being ignored by Labor.
“Daniel Andrews is overseeing a revolving door of criminality in Victoria’s dysfunctional youth justice system.”