Following the outstanding success of the Juvenile Justice Team concept, a sixth metropolitan team was announced today.
Assisting Justice Minister Kevin Minson said today the team would cover the Victoria Park police precinct.
The fifth team, which covers the city precinct, was opened in Glendalough in March.
The teams involve juvenile offenders meeting with their parents, the victim, police and a juvenile justice co-ordinator to decide an appropriate outcome for the crime committed.
"Since the teams' inception as a pilot program in 1993, more than 400 referrals have been dealt with," Mr Minson said.
"The teams have been steadily expanding throughout the State over the past 15 months, with part-time teams operating in 17 regional areas and six full-time teams in the metropolitan area."
Metropolitan teams also operate in Wangara, Thornlie, Midland and Fremantle.
"Tremendous community support has been shown for these family conferences," Mr Minson said.
"The teams play a big part in the effort being made by the Government and the justice system to divert juvenile offenders away from the prison system and stop them drifting further into a criminal existence.
"The co-operation between agencies including the Ministry of Justice and the police and education departments and cultural groups is another reason why the teams concept is working so well."
Mr Minson said an education officer joined the teams when required and there was also provision for cultural representation.
"The metropolitan teams are dealing with around 10 referrals a week, compared with an average of four during the pilot period," he said.
"Referrals to the teams continue to be constant, which is an indication of the confidence the police and the judiciary have in the concept."
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