Australia’s what works rehabilitation scheme In recent years, correctional agencies around Australia have been increasingly influenced by what is commonly known as the ‘what works’ model to offender rehabilitation. This system claims to be more effective in discouraging reoffences. The approach consists of three key principles, the ‘risk principle’ that suggests offenders most likely to re-offend should receive the most intensive rehabilitation. More intensive programs are offered to those assessed high risk.
The ‘needs principle’ aim to change the needs most directly related to offending. The ‘responsivity principle’ matches the learning styles of offenders such that they are actively engaged in a process of behavioral change. So you might ask, the Australian government has enforcement laws and rehabilitation programs in place to discourage young offenders from reoffending? Yes, rehabilitation has been an attempt to resolve the problem for decades. But according to data provided by the Sunday Morning Herald, alone in the second half of 2018, 300 kids have been in juvenile detention. Let alone last year in the Wyndham area, 500 kids between the ages 10 and 17 were sent to court for the commitment of criminal acts. With more kids being detained, the cost of rehabilitation grows to be massive and the effectiveness of juvenile detention ceases to drop. This influence on our juvenile crime system was definitely a positive one, but I wouldn’t say it is enough to lower threat in the community.
When I heard from a partner working with the government, I couldn’t believe eighty-five thousand dollars goes into housing one child in a juvenile justice system. That same amount of money could employ three at-risk kids on the streets full-time with the help of local businesses. The government prepares to spend over a hundred million dollars to incarcerate children in our country. With just 25% of that, with only 25 million dollars, we could employ 1200 kids full time. There is so much more we could do with our resources to help youths as a society. I am in no way saying we should let kids that commit criminal acts runaway guilt-free. But locking them up in rehabilitation isn’t really going to change them. They are our future. ‘Clearly we need new strategies and new ways to tackle this problem because it’s simply not going away and it’s only getting worse.’ Some of you are thinking: it could be my daughter, my son, a relative of mine, but what can I do about it? I would like to spend the rest of this speech talking to those of you. That would like to help, that care for future generations.
First of all, juvenile crime is not an issue that can be easily resolved in a snap. Critical to reducing the immediate consequences of youth violence, those in position would have to make improvements in pre-hospital and emergency care, including access to care. But to radically solve this issue, I first would like to encourage those in the position to introduce youth development programs as early as preschool. These programs can range from life skills to social development and anti-bullying programs that are designed to help children and adolescents manage anger, resolve conflict, and develop the necessary social skills to solve problems.
Secondly, I urge all parents to simply participate in your child’s life. It is great to attend parental support programs to foster positive parenting skills. Don’t let our kids feel invisible. Give credit for their accomplishments and discuss your decisions with them. Thirdly, let’s get our young generation more occupied with full-time or part-time work, school or even housework. Lastly, if you ever fear that an adolescent might be badly influenced, look for front-line workers in your area or reach out to me and I will advise you on what to do more professionally.
Getting a front-hand can really curb things from turning nasty. Whenever I talk about this issue, those kids that I have worked with really come to my mind. Through work and communicating with them, I come to know each and every one of them personally. These children although made wrong decisions once never fails the hope when given a second chance. So, let’s all get them another opportunity.