Youth Justice Conferencing Support
Youth Justice Conferencing is a response to youth offending that
aims to educate offenders and reduce crime - notably offences of
violence against other young people that can cause a brain injury
or other disability.
Conferencing brings together the young offender, their family,
the victim (if they wish to attend), and the arresting police
officer to discuss the matter in a respectful environment. The aim
of the Youth Justice Conference is for all affected parties to talk
about the offence and come up with an agreement about how the
offending young person can begin to repair the harm caused.
Synapse's Community Response Team is involved in conferences in
Queensland as a Community Representative. It is our role to explain
to the group how an act of violence, excess alcohol/drug
consumption, or 'joyriding' (common offences in young people) could
cause a Brain Injury - and what that could mean for the injured
individual. Conferences are about discussing possible consequences
outcomes if the individual decides to re-offend.
It's about bringing the general information about
Brain Injury to the level where the youths can identify with
what's going on. It's one thing to say 'one punch can kill',
especially when we all feel that we're invincible, but it's very
sobering to see the realistic outcomes for someone with a Brain
Injury. These include social difficulties, physical difficulties
and many other difficulties that reduce independence - one of the
main things young people strive for.
Synapse believes that young people given this chance, and
educated about the natural consequences (rather than being
threatened by the justice system) of their behaviour, are less
likely to offend in the future.