Confirmation today that hundreds of Nintendo Switches and Switch Lites were purchased to entertain youth justice inmates is confirmation Daniel Andrews has run up the white flag on rehabilitating Victoria’s youngest offenders.
Data provided to the Victorian Parliaments Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) has confirmed 338 Nintendo Switches and Switch Lites were purchased to entertain inmates subject to COVID-19 restrictions within the Youth Justice system across 2020-21.
In addition to these devices which can cost more than $400 a unit, a number of games were provided including Minecraft, Animal Crossing New Horizons, Mario and Sonic Olympic Games, Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda – Breath of the Wild and The Legend of Zelda - Link’s Awakening.
Instead of giving young offenders the education, skills and behavioural training they need to turn their lives around, it’s clear Daniel Andrews has no plan to address worsening youth offending or getting young offenders back on the right path.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Youth Justice, David Southwick:
“With staff outnumbering young offenders three to one, surely we can do better than locking kids up, giving them a Nintendo and hoping for the best.
“Playing Mario Kart might sharpen a young offenders hoon skills but does nothing to turn their lives around as a valuable member of society by improving their life skills.
“It’s a slap in the face for victims of crime that whilst every young offender gets iPad, laptop and Nintendo – the family of a loved one gets stuck fighting for justice in lockdown with a court system plagued by backlogs and delays.”