Since the commencement of the Bourke Justice Reinvestment project in April 2014, the community of Bourke has identified a number of circuit breakers that would:
- have immediate results in terms of reducing the number of young people offending, coming before the courts, and being incarcerated, and
- assist in engaging the whole of community in the process by demonstrating the willingness and capacity of agencies to drive change.
The proposed circuit breakers include:
- developing police and community protocols around imposition and compliance with bail conditions, and warnings and arrest for breach of conditions. The Bourke Local Area Command is actively engaged in the discussions.
engagement with Local Court Magistrate regarding bail conditions and sentencing options
- the establishment of a bail house and multi-purpose youth centre. This initiative is well into the planning stage as a result of a partnership between the Bourke Aboriginal Community Working Party and Youth Off the Streets.
- a warrant amnesty with follow up support through a service referral hub.
- exploring options in Drive while Unlicensed/ Disqualified matters for police to refer young offenders to a service to assist them in obtaining a licence.
Critically, there have also been some recent promising discussions around the creation of employment opportunities. Education and employment are both key to the success of the project requiring a clear agenda and plan.
One of our next steps now is engaging the young people of the community in the process.