Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children are disproportionately incarcerated in Victoria.

Prison does not rehabilitate children.

VALS believes that:

  1. 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.
  2. The focus should be on prevention and early support, as well as rehabilitation, rather than punishment.
  3. 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.