Report on 2021 Youth Justice reforms from Bob Atkinson

Changes to the Youth Justice Act 1992 came into effect on 30 April 2021. They aimed to:

  • strengthen accountability for serious repeat offenders
  • disrupt knife crime
  • disrupt hooning.

The Premier announced that former Police Commissioner Mr Robert (Bob) Atkinson would look at the effectiveness of these reforms after 6 months.

What the review looked at

The review looked at:

  • implementation
  • early impacts of the reforms
  • awareness of the reform program
  • perceptions of public safety in the broader community.

It involved extensive engagement across key government departments, stakeholders and the community.

The review aimed to:

  • give advice on whether the changes to youth justice laws, anti-hooning laws and the metal detecting wand trial were on track to reduce serious youth offending
  • identify issues with implementing reforms, and potential areas for improvement.

Outcome of the review

The Youth Justice Reforms Review Report (PDF, 2.9MB) or (DOCX, 1MB) identifies:

  • achievements
  • strengths
  • challenges.

The review found that overall, reform implementation was going well.

Key findings include:

  • youth co-responder teams have received high level of stakeholder support and confidence
  • electronic monitoring has had low uptake
  • the presumption against bail may be contributing to an increase in remand rates
  • knife crime at metal detection trial locations has decreased
  • some hooning offences have decreased.

The review also found improvements that could be made for law and program changes to have the best chance of reducing offending and improving community safety.

Key documents

Last updated 18 November 2022

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)