Inquiry into Victoria’s criminal justice system: Final report released

CMY welcomes the tabling of the final report of the Legislative Council’s Legal and Social Issues Committee Inquiry into Victoria’s Criminal Justice System. This is an important opportunity given the bold change of course that is needed to reduce overrepresentation, and address the needs of young multicultural Victorians at risk of engaging or engaged in our justice system.

The Committee took note of key issues outlined in CMY’s submission, and evidence provided by CMY’s CEO, Carmel Guerra.

We were pleased to note support for a number of recommendations in CMY’s submission and, in particular, the need to develop a multicultural youth justice strategy to transform Victoria’s approach to intervening early to reduce criminal behaviour.

Carmel Guerra, CMY CEO

In October 2021, CMY called for specific focus and effort on the development of a Multicultural Youth Justice Strategy, as outlined in our Youth Justice Position Statement and Youth Justice Briefing Paper released last year. This includes:

  • Committed action to eradicate racial discrimination in the criminal justice system
  • Improving accountability and transparency around outcomes for CALD people in the justice system
  • Research into underlying drivers of CALD youth offending and effective interventions
  • Stronger early intervention support for CALD youth to address overrepresentation
  • Increasing diversion options for CALD young people
  • Improving services coordination for CALD young people, families and communities.

Additionally, we strongly welcome the Committee’s recommendations to:

  • Develop a racial profiling monitoring scheme with Victoria Police
  • Raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility
  • Resource youth crime prevention initiatives
  • Strengthen support to young people to gain employment; and
  • Provide more youth workers and programs in schools in disadvantaged areas, to support young people’s engagement with education.

We call on all parties to implement these recommendations as a matter of urgency for the wellbeing and justice outcomes of young multicultural people, families, and the broader community.