Hon Simone McGurk BA(Arts) BA(Comms) MLA

Hon Simone McGurk BA(Arts) BA(Comms) MLA

Minister for Child Protection; Women's Interests; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence; Community Services

    Support for young offenders to turn their lives around

    31/07/2022 3:10 PM
    • McGowan Government developing new pilot program to provide support to young people in the juvenile justice system to help turn their lives around
    • In-home support for families of offenders, delivered by Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations
    • $700,000 pilot program will complement the successful Target 120 program which will operate in 20 sites around the State

    A new pilot program is being developed that will work with prolific offenders who are in the juvenile justice system to help them turn their lives around.


    Ten young people from Broome who have served or are serving time in detention will be supported through Target 120 Plus, which will include services that are culturally appropriate and tailored for the young persons' individual needs.


    In addition, in-home support to families will help parents develop parenting skills promoting healthy child development.


    It is anticipated the program will be delivered by a community youth officer employed by the Department of Communities.


    The in-home support component will be led by an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation which will also have input into the design of the program and the delivery of the service.


    The program complements the Target 120 program, an early intervention program for young people at risk of becoming repeat offenders. Target 120 focuses on a small cohort of high-risk young people and works intensively with them and their families, to help keep them out of the justice system. 


    The McGowan Government has spent $20.4 million on implementing Target 120 since its inception in 2018, with an additional $11.1 million recently committed to expand the Target 120 program to nine sites across WA, including Broome, Halls Creek, Fitzroy Crossing and Derby.


    Target 120 has proven to be successful by reducing offending behaviour amongst our most at-risk young people.


    In Kununurra, where Target 120 has been in place since 2020 and is now led by Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation MG Corporation, almost half of all participants have not reoffended since joining the program.


    Comments attributed to Community Services Minister Simone McGurk


    "Nothing is more tragic than seeing young people getting caught up in crime and the criminal justice system - and the McGowan Government is working hard to prevent that from occurring.


    "There are a range of risk factors we know lead to a young person's susceptibility to offending - such as abuse, neglect, exposure to violence, family conflict, negative peer influences and poor engagement at school.


    "It is crucial we look at the root causes of young people offending and empower them to turn their lives around.


    "The State Government is spending more than $31 million to expand its successful Target 120 program to help at-risk children, with around half of all participants having no further contact with police.


    "By developing Target 120 Plus, we are boosting supports for young people who have already had contact with the justice system, and ultimately helping to build safer communities."


    Quotes attributed to Kimberley MLA Divina D'Anna


    "We have seen the success of Target 120 in Kununurra and I am hopeful this additional level of intensive support will help young people involved in the justice system to get their lives back on track.


    "The best outcome for these young people is to be safely supported in the community so they can be close to their families, their culture and their country."


    Minister's Office - 6552 6600