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HomeVolume 28Community based justice program starts

Community based justice program starts

By ERWIN CHLANDA

The Federal Government has announced funding for community-led justice reinvestment projects in two priority sites, Alice Springs and Halls Creek.

It is one of four projects started under the $250m Federal emergency fund granted to Central Australia, according to a spokesman for NT Senator Marion Scrymgour.

Justice reinvestment involves “community-led and holistic approaches to programs and initiatives aimed at keeping at risk youths and adults out of the criminal justice system and improving community safety,” according to a media release from Federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus today.

A consortium of three organisations – Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation, Desert Knowledge Australia and Anglicare NT – will drive the program in Alice Springs.

The October 2022-23 Budget included $69m to support the initiative in 30 places across Australia, “the largest commitment to justice reinvestment ever delivered by the Commonwealth,” says Mr Dreyfus.

“This announcement comes after significant engagement with Aboriginal leaders, local service-providers and the Northern Territory Government to ensure justice reinvestment in Alice Springs is community-led.”

The News is seeking comment from the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (which includes Alice Springs).

Senator Scrymgour is pointing to three other projects under the emergency grant getting underway but NT Shadow Minister for Territory Families Joshua Burgoyne claims today no funding had been received.

Senator Scrymgour says all 46 schools in the Central Australia region will be included in the $40.4m spend for on-country Learning to improve school engagement: “Schools will work with their local communities to develop tailored solutions to better engage children and young people in school and provide them with the wrap-around support they need to succeed,” says the statement from her.

The Central Australian Aboriginal Congress is getting $23.5m from the fund to support the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, including $18.4m to expand the organisation’s existing Children and Youth Assessment and Treatment Services (CYATS).

This is enhancing early detection and intervention services for neurodevelopmental conditions, including Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

A further $5m will support the development of a health hub in Alice Springs, combining the four current health services into one single centre.

And an additional $10m will go to “enhancing digital connectivity” for First Australians with service providers already able to apply, until July 12, for flexible grants covering costs including satellite use, additional digital infrastructure and wifi installation.

IMAGE from the “juvie” – the juvenile detention centre in Alice Springs.

UPDATED at 4.30pm.

3 COMMENTS

  1. This long overdue initiative is very welcome. Because “jailing is failing”.
    A whole-of-community approach led by local leaders and people of influence can help grow communities positively.
    Thanks to the Federal government for demonstrating leadership in this environment.

  2. Money down the drain and into the wrong pockets.
    What use is $10m for digital if you can’t keep the electricity on? Throwing money at it is not the answer. Same problem since 1911. No change.

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