Developing youth justice policy and programme design in Australia

Butcher, Luke, Day, Andrew, Miles, Debra, Kidd, Garry, and Stanton, Steve (2022) Developing youth justice policy and programme design in Australia. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 81 (2). pp. 367-382.

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The national Closing the Gap reform provides a mandate for mainstream organisations to undergo structural transformation to better address the needs and concerns of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. In the criminal justice sector, the reform resonates strongly with ongoing discussions about how both policy and practice can address the significant over-representation of Aboriginal people across the criminal justice system. One way that structural transformation can occur is through the genuine involvement of Aboriginal knowledge holders and communities in policy development. This study illustrates how this might happen in relation to youth justice policy and programme design. Eighteen Aboriginal community members from a town in rural New South Wales participated in a series of interviews relevant to the Closing the Gap target. Qualitative content analysis was used to identify four key themes relevant to the development of justice policy: supporting cultural identity in a post-colonial context; articulating strengths and resources which can be mobilised in the community; the centrality of poverty to offending; and responding to intergenerational trauma. The study illustrates how non-Indigenous policymakers and practitioners might approach the task of engagement and consultation by identifying Aboriginal knowledge as a legitimate epistemic resource that they can draw upon to guide the ongoing development of evidence-based policy and programmes.

Item ID: 70865
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1467-8500
Keywords: Aboriginal knowledge, Closing the Gap, decolonisation, juvenile justice, theory of change, youth justice
Copyright Information: © 2021 Institute of Public Administration Australia
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2021 23:31
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4407 Policy and administration > 440712 Social policy @ 50%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4409 Social work > 440903 Social program evaluation @ 20%
45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4505 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, society and community > 450522 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social impact and program evaluation @ 30%
SEO Codes: 23 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 2304 Justice and the law > 230408 Rehabilitation and correctional services @ 50%
23 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 2301 Community services > 230115 Youth services @ 50%
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