In 2015 consultations were held in Katherine to identify support for and interest in working with justice reinvestment (JR) locally. These consultations explored the nature of local youth offending —its impact and causes —and community views about how to reduce offending. After a high level of community support was identified for the introduction of JR in Katherine, the Katherine Youth Justice Reinvestment Group (KYJRG) was established.
The KYJRG is especially focused on issues impacting on young Indigenous people. It comprises representatives from the community, education, health, police, law, youth and social service sectors. This includes local representation from the Northern Territory Government, non-government organisations, Aboriginal community controlled organisations and academic institutions. The KYJRG is supported in its work by both James Cook University and Menzies School of Health and Research. In parallel, the KYJRG has developed a ‘backbone’ JR organisation, with significant support from Australian Red Cross.
Katherine is currently moving through the first two stages of JR methodology, working through detailed publicly available social issues data for the Katherine region to begin establishing a JR plan, guided by both a Strategic Plan and Business Plan. In April 2019 the community should also have a range of justice and other data to inform planning.
The KYJRG is also presently working on a range of initiatives in Katherine which align with the intent of JR. These include the proposed development of an on-country residential re-engagement facility to provide education, psychological services, AOD support and career development for young people.
If you’d like to read more about the initial JR consultations in Katherine, a report documenting the process and its outcomes can be downloaded here