TWO-HUNDRED and thirty six young people in the City of Canning are at severe educational risk.
This is just one of the statistics in a new report from the Youth Partnership Project (YPP), which aims to change the story for young people in the area by connecting at-risk youth with the right service at the right time.
YPP’s education and justice research shows that a quarter of all receptions to Banksia Hill Detention Centre are from the southeastern corridor of Perth and despite high expenditure on corrective services, one in two of these |detained young people return to the justice system within two years.
“Just today, today alone, we’ve spent $130,000 on locking up West Australian young people,” Karina Chicote, YPP manager and manager of Place-Based Strategies for Save the Children Australia, said at the report launch.
“And we will spend that tomorrow and the day after, until by the end of this year we would have spent $48 million just on locking up young people.
“What we are doing isn’t quite working.”
Ms Chicote said these figures indicated the current system is flawed, but the data showed youth at risk could be identified and assisted.
“We know that we can predict the next young people who are going to end up in our |detention centres,” she said.
“The fact that we can predict that is not good enough. If you can predict who they’re going to be, then surely together, we can actually prevent that path.”
The YPP, steered by Save the Children Australia, established the Armadale Youth Intervention Partnership (AYIP) to assist young people at risk of offending in the area with early, targeted support.
Local brothers Jake and Brody participated in the 2016 AYIP January School Holiday Program and have since been named the City of Armadale’s Young Citizens of the Year and |returned to the program to become mentors.
Burt MHR Matt Keogh said AYIP was a crucial proof of concept for similar programs.
“We can change the story of the results we’re seeing, of too many young people going into juvenile detention again and again, instead of getting their lives on track,” Mr Keogh said.