Michelle Roberts

Michelle Roberts

Minister for Housing and Works; Indigenous Affairs; Heritage; Land Information

    Victims of crime to have a new voice under moves by the State Government

    5/01/2005 12:30 PM

    Victims of juvenile crime in Western Australia will have a new voice with the State Government’s appointment of Ms Georgia Prideaux to the Juvenile Supervised Release Review Board.

    Justice Minister Michelle Roberts said Ms Prideaux’s appointment signalled a major step forward in the provision of juvenile justice in WA, with the views and concerns of victims now being taken directly into consideration when deciding on the early release of young offenders.

    “Ms Prideaux’s dedication to championing the rights of victims is well known in the community and she will be able to clearly reflect the experiences of those people impacted on by crime,” Mrs Roberts said.

    “As a victim of serious crime herself, her appointment will not only give voice to victims’ concerns, it will also help create safer communities by giving the board a victim’s perspective on why a young offender may need to stay in detention.”

    The Minister said Ms Prideaux’s appointment to the Supervised Release Review Board also marked the start of new laws which boosted the powers of the board to defer and/or deny the early release of young offenders.

    “An early release order to allow a young offender back into the community is a privilege, and not a right,” Mrs Roberts said.

    “It should only occur after offenders have addressed their offending behaviour and all factors have been considered including the impact on their victims.”

    The Minister said changes to the Young Offenders Act 1994 supported the Gallop Government’s $20million juvenile justice reform strategy which was announced in August last year.

    “These changes include provision for the electronic monitoring of juvenile offenders and the introduction of the Intensive Supervision Program for serious, repeat juvenile offenders - changes the Liberal Party opposed,” she said.

    “The Gallop Government’s overhaul of the juvenile justice system is the most significant in the WA’s history and better reflects the interests of the community, while also providing a better deal for victims of crime.”

    Mrs Roberts said delivering balanced Budgets and responsible economic management had enabled the Gallop Government to announce this massive overhaul to juvenile justice in WA.

    “This is in stark contrast to the Opposition, who struggled to balance their Budgets and in desperation resorted to privatising the prison system because of riots and overcrowding,” she said.

    Minister's office: 9213 6600