Changes for 17 year-olds

The Youth Justice and Other Legislation (Inclusion of 17-year-old Persons) Amendment Act 2016 commenced on 12 February 2018, meaning young offenders aged 17 are dealt with in the youth justice system.

Transitional regulation

The Youth Justice (Transitional) Regulation 2018 also commenced on 12 February 2018. The regulation supports the Act, and ensures 17 year-olds currently involved in the adult justice system can be carefully transitioned to Youth Justice care. The regulation is in effect for two years.

This allows for 17 year-olds who are in adult prison, on adult community-based orders or involved in adult court proceedings to be transferred to the youth justice system.

Decisions about transferring 17 year-olds to detention from adult prison will be made based on the safety and best interests of the child, staff and the wider community.

The transitional regulation means that:

  • 17 year-olds on community-based orders will transfer to Youth Justice supervision
  • 17 year-olds in adult custody will be eligible for transfer to a youth detention centre, if it is in the child’s best interest and safety
  • court proceedings for 17 year-olds will transfer to the youth justice system:
    • if it is the first time the matter is before the court
    • following the completion of a hearing (where the hearing has been part-heard)
    • where a community-based order is breached.

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