If the person accused of committing the crime against you was younger than 18 years old, they will usually be dealt with through the youth justice system.
The juvenile justice system recognises that young people should face consequences for their behaviour, but are still in the process of learning about their responsibilities.
Where the offence is less serious, Family Conferences are usually used to divert young offenders from going to court.
A Family Conference encourages everyone to arrive at an appropriate outcome.
In a Family Conference, you as a victim, the young person, their family and a police officer will meet to discuss what happened, how it has affected each person and how the offence will be dealt with.
Your role in the conference
In a Family Conference, your presence as a victim can have a real effect on a young person. It can encourage them to take responsibility for their behaviour and shows the real-life consequences of their actions.
Outcomes can include:
- agreeing to pay compensation
- apologising either in person or in writing
- performing community service
- participating in various programs
- anything else considered appropriate under the circumstances.
The Youth Justice Coordinator will monitor the young person’s compliance, and you will be informed of the outcome.
For more serious offences, young people are prosecuted in the Youth Court.
The Youth Court is a closed court – which means it’s not open to the public – and doesn’t have a jury.
As a victim of crime you can still attend the Youth Court.