Youth Justice - Guide to Young People's Rights
9 December 2003 at 12:12 pm
‘Youth Justice’ is a coalface book for those supporting young people who come into contact with the criminal justice system in New South Wales. Its advice is specific to NSW yet the issues will appeal to a national audience.
Its main author, Jane Sanders, from the Shopfront Youth Legal Centre says the book explains a young person’s rights and what can be expected from the police, lawyers, courts and all other aspects of the system.
Sanders says aside from helping young people understand their rights, this book is an essential resource for youth workers, youth advocates, social workers, counsellors, teachers or anyone else who works to support young people.
She says there are specially tailored sections on supporting young people through police interviews, youth justice conferences, lawyer interviews and court, and Youth Justice enables workers to understand their role and suggests advocacy strategies in dealing with the police or courts.
Now in its third edition, Youth Justice has been updated and greatly expanded into a more comprehensive and detailed legal resource. There are new chapters on ‘getting legal advice and assistance’ and ‘security guards’, as well as expanded sections on court processes and outcomes for common offences.
Recent changes to the law and legal processes have been accommodated with new material on the youth and adult drug courts, police sniffer dogs, ‘drug house’ legislation and other changes to police powers and court processes in NSW.
It’s jargon-free and covers a broad range of topics including:
– getting legal advice and assistance
– police directions and ‘move on’ powers
– police searches and sniffer dogs
– police interviews and rights in police custody
– security guards
– the Young Offenders Act and youth justice conferences
– processes and outcomes in the children’s court and local court
– youth and adult drug courts
– Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs)
– victims of crime and compensation
– dealing with unpaid fines.
Sanders says Youth Justice remembers that young people are more often victims of crime than criminals. It recognises that there are usually economic and social aspects of a young person’s situation which are clearly linked to their offending behaviour – such as homelessness, drug dependency, lack of income support, mental health issues or lack of parental support. And that effective legal support work involves addressing these issues.
She says while the practical advice is specifically about the NSW legal system there are many criminal justice issues that will appeal to a national audience including ethical dilemmas, dealing with local police, the rights of court reporting, why young people get involved in crime and aboriginal legal issues.
The publication has been partially underwritten by the NSW Law & Justice Foundation and arranged by Macquarie Legal Centre.
Published by The Federation Press, rrp $49.95. Pro Bono Australia readers can purchase a copy at the reduced price of $45 via their website at
Pro Bono Australia has one copy of Youth Justice to give away. Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org tell us in one line why this guide would help your organisation.