Criminal age of responsibility set to be raised
The Western Australian Council of Social Service has welcomed a motion that was passed at Saturday’s session of the WA Labor conference calling for justice reform to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 14. This would bring the state into line with international standards.
Currently, the minimum age that a child can be charged is just 10 years old.
Chief Executive Louise Giolitto told Oliver Peterson “locking up children” doesn’t work.
“It doesn’t rehabilitate children and it doesn’t make our community safer,” she said
“There’s got to be a better way of doing this.”
In last month’s state budget, Treasurer Mark McGowan made a commitment towards funding the continuation of successful early intervention and prevention programs.
“Let’s focus our response on improving the emotional and social well-being of these children,” said Ms Giolitto.
Ms Giolitto said there is an economic argument to the proposal with the average cost per day to lock up a child being $1,339.
“If we have one on one support with youth workers it would only cost $282 a day,” said Ms Giolitto.
Press PLAY to hear more about this proposed reform:
(Photo: iStock by Getty)