Police and teachers will refer young offenders to early intervention services as part of a $14.5 million program to help break the cycle of crime.


Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson today congratulated Centacare New England North West as the successful tenderer to deliver the Youth on Track program, designed to coordinate services for 10-17 year olds at risk of long-term involvement in the criminal justice system.


“This is fantastic news to see a local organisation deliver this innovative program that will help address youth crime in the New England area,” Mr Anderson said.


“We want to help reduce the risk of reoffending which is why, as part of this program, teachers and Police can refer young offenders to support services such as behavioural and family services, to address the underlying causes of their criminal behaviour.


“This is about giving young offenders the best chance to turn their lives around. If we can get to them in their younger years then we may be able to prevent their criminal activity continuing into adulthood.”


Centacare NENW CEO Fergus Fitzsimons said it was important for young people to know there is hope ahead.


“We’re proud to be helping young people in our community and providing the help they need to stay on track.


“We know a ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work for families, and young people who’ve been exposed to a range of issues including domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, financial and housing issues, among others, need extra support.”


“We’ll be helping young people and their families to address their social needs and reduce contact with the criminal justice system through case work, and a variety of interventions tailored for each young person.”


Almost 90 per cent of young people who have participated in Youth on Track have either stabilised or reduced their contact with Police and 53 per cent reduced their offending risk factors after three months.


Mr Anderson said the program will commence in the New England region from December.

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