Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children are disproportionately incarcerated in Victoria.
Prison does not rehabilitate children.
VALS believes that:
- The age of criminal responsibility should be increased to at least 14 years of age, and a minimum of at least 16 years of age for detention in a custodial facility. This is consistent with contemporary international human rights standards.
- The focus should be on prevention and early support, as well as rehabilitation, rather than punishment.
- Rehabilitative approaches should be culturally appropriate; proactively minimise the risk of further trauma to the child; maintain the integrity of the family unit; and consciously serve to mitigate the risk of future offending.
Read our policy brief, Raising the Age of Criminal Responsibility, to learn more.