An Aboriginal-designed and run mentoring program launched today by the State Government is taking a new approach to reducing crime among Aboriginal youth.
"We can't afford to keep doing things the same way and getting the same results - high rates of Aboriginal youth in detention are an unacceptable waste of young lives and potential," Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis said.
The Moorditj Ngoorndiak program focuses on Aboriginal males aged 12 to 19 at Banksia Hill Detention Centre. It is run by the Wirrpanda Foundation, an entity of the West Coast Eagles Football Club.
Mentors work one-on-one with detainees and their families for up to four months in custody and then for at least six months on community release.
"Two-thirds of young people leaving custody re-offend within six months, often due to peer pressure and a lack of positive role models. This program addresses that," the Minister said.
The $320,000 program is the first under a grant agreement funded by the Youth Justice Board's $2 million Youth Justice Innovation Fund.
It is also the first involving performance-based incentive payments for a not-for-profit service provider.
Moorditj Ngoorndiak (pronounced More-ditch Norndiyak) means "˜good thinking' or "˜clear in mind'
The program's effectiveness will be fully evaluated before the end of the grant agreement in February 2016
The Youth Justice Innovation Fund was set up to encourage innovative approaches to address the complex issues surrounding offending and re-offending among Aboriginal youth
It costs $814 a day to keep a young person in detention
Minister's office - 6552 6500