- City of Bunbury one of the first locations in the State for the Target 120 program
- Target 120 to help young offenders avoid a life connected to the justice system
- Significant Government investment to address youth crime and community safety
A $20.5 million State Government initiative to prevent young people reoffending and to improve community safety will begin in Bunbury later this year.
Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk today said Bunbury would be one of the first locations in Western Australia to benefit from the Target 120 program, announced in the State Budget yesterday.
Across Western Australia, Target 120 will help up to 300 young people and their families turn their lives around. Dedicated case workers will work with each young person, providing targeted intervention before they reach the point of detention.
Target 120 will look at the issues that increase a young person's likelihood of offending, such as substance abuse, lack of housing, domestic violence, trauma, mental health issues, and poor attendance at school.
Target 120 is an effective, collaborative and flexible early intervention program. Young people and their families will receive co-ordinated and timely access to a range of government and non-government services.
Target 120 will be implemented across multiple locations throughout the State over the next four years.
Comments attributed to Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk:
"The sad reality is that the number of children going into the justice system is on the rise and what we're currently doing isn't working.
"The Target 120 program is a new and effective way of doing things - it will involve multiple government agencies, led by the Department of Communities and including the WA Police Force and Corrective Services, working more collaboratively with local service providers and the City of Bunbury.
"WA Police told us they could predict many of the children who would end up in the juvenile justice system and then graduate to adult prisons.
"We took a policy to the State election, that committed us in Government, to targeted early intervention with these children and their families. Target 120 holds those young people to account for their actions but also provides focused and co-ordinated intervention to address underlying issues, and set these children on a better life course.
"By government and the community working together to provide young offenders with the help they need to get back on track, Bunbury can be a safer place to live and work."
Comments attributed to Bunbury MLA Don Punch:
"This announcement is fantastic news for Bunbury as it will provide an unprecedented level of support for families in crisis.
"It is this type of targeted, personalised support that delivers the best results in improving outcomes for young people and their families.
"This proven approach will benefit our whole community by working to reduce rates of youth offending, improving the community's sense of safety and changing for the better the lives of families."
Minister's office - 6552 6600