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NCJ Number: 183401 Find in a Library
Title: The Young Offenders Act 1997: Is the Diversionary Scheme Being Diverted?
Journal: Judicial Officers' Bulletin  Volume:12  Issue:3  Dated:April 2000  Pages:17-20
Author(s): Jenny Bargen
Date Published: April 2000
Page Count: 4
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This discussion of Australia’s Young Offenders Act 1997 focuses on its history, scope, implementation, and additional actions needed to fulfill the law’s main goal of diverting juveniles from court proceedings wherever possible and appropriate.
Abstract: The law took effect on April 6, 1998. The law is the outcome of careful consideration of lessons learned from juvenile diversion programs in Australia and elsewhere in the 1980’s and 1990’s. These programs include the family group conferences in New Zealand, the Wagga Wagga model of extended police cautioning, and programs of police cautions and family and community conferences in Australian jurisdictions. The law provides for the establishment of a Youth Justice Advisory Committee to monitor and evaluate the law and advise the Attorney General and the Director General of Juvenile Justice. The law covers all summary offenses and certain other offenses. It specifies an integrated, hierarchical system of diversionary options, including police warnings and cautions and a statutory system of Youth Justice Conferences. The law specifies its principles and purposes. It also includes a series of checks and balances designed to ensure that youth are diverted from court proceedings in all relevant matters. Full compliance by police will mean that courts will handle the more serious offenses, as well as children who enter a plea of not guilty, and children who choose to have a court handle their matter. Achieving the law’s objectives will require continuing work and a significant role of judicial officers in cooperation with police, attorneys, conference administrators, and convenors. 41 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile court diversion
Index Term(s): Australia; Foreign juvenile justice systems; Juvenile codes; Juvenile diversion programs; Juvenile justice reform; Legislative impact
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