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Why young criminals need our help, not jail time

Neil Mitchell
Article image for Why young criminals need our help, not jail time

Youth advocates say locking up troublesome kids isn’t the answer to Victoria’s problem with violent crime.

A small group of chronic young offenders have been blamed for an 85 per cent surge over the past five years.

Carmel Guerra, Centre for Multicultural Youth CEO, told Neil Mitchell the figures were concerning but many of those involved “lacked purpose” and needed help, not punishment.

“A lot of these young people are either recruited to crime because they’re younger siblings, or because they see no other alternative,” she said.

She said society would benefit from investing in those young offenders to divert them from a life of crime, rather than locking them up.

Neil Mitchell said punishment was a must for victims to get justice, but acknowledged something needed to change.

“Clearly what we are doing isn’t working,” he said.

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Picture by Getty iStock

Neil Mitchell
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