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Date posted: 8 April 2014
Community, business and academic leaders have been appointed to a Youth Justice Board that will review laws which apply to juvenile offenders and develop strategies to steer young people away from crime.
The nine appointees of the board, to be chaired by corrective Services Commissioner James McMahon, have expertise in areas including Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing, Indigenous affairs, drug research, child health and business. Telethon Kids Institute director and respected paediatrician Jonathan Carapetis, University of WA Institute of Advanced Studies director Clarissa Ball, Noongar Aboriginal affairs leader Michael Hayden, former corporate banking manager and Social Ventures Australia member Paul Bide, Bankwest community engagement chief Craig Spencer, Minderoo chief operating officer Grant Vernon, Noongar psychiatrist and child health lecturer Marshall Watson and National Drug Institute researcher Mandy Wilson will make up the board under Mr McMahon.
Corrective Services Minister Jo Francis said the creation of the board reflected the Government's determination to stop the waste of human capital that occurred every time a young person ended up in detention. 'The Government doesn't have a monopoly on solutions. The board members have been chosen because they bring other perspectives, expertise, and the courage to do things differently.'
Mr Francis said the role of the board would be to strengthen the delivery of early intervention and diversion programs and services, promote engagement between the business community and private and public sectors to deliver more effective crime prevention and diversion programs, promote stronger engagement with Indigenous families and communities, and work with a new youth justice division within the Department of Corrective Services.
The boards priorities will be on developing strategies focused on crime prevention and diversion, drug and alcohol abuse, and alternatives to custody.
Source: The West Australian