This procedure relates to working with youth justice precinct staff to support young people on sentence or remand at a youth justice precinct.

 

When to use this procedure

When working with youth justice precinct staff to support young people on sentence or remand at a youth justice precinct.

 

Practice context and legislation

  • Youth justice aims to engage young people in change by addressing their offending behaviour and equipping them with the skills required for positive community participation, within a safe and secure environment.
  • Malmsbury Youth Justice Precinct accommodates young men aged over 18 years sentenced to a youth justice centre order by adult courts in Victoria (known as the dual-track system). The precinct is a combination of low and high security residential units.
  • Parkville Youth Justice Precinct comprises two youth justice centres with a single entry point, for children and young people remanded and sentenced by a Victorian court, primarily children's courts. It accomodates:
    • 10–18-year-old males
    • 10–18-year-old females
    • 18–21-year-old women sentenced to a youth justice centre by an adult court in Victoria.
  • Youth justice precinct staff aim to ensure:
    • safe and secure youth justice facilities for young people and staff
    • targeted rehabilitation programs and opportunities for young people
    • offending behaviour is addressed through evidence-based programs
    • young people with complex needs are provided with integrated and well-coordinated services that meet their individual needs.
  • While a young person is in a youth justice precinct, primary case management is the responsibility of youth justice precinct staff. Collaborative case management and planning between area youth justice teams and youth justice precinct workers ensures continuity of service, effective exit planning and better outcomes for young people.
  • Collaborative planning for release makes a young person's transition to the community more successful, whether they are on an order supervised by youth justice or supported by a community sector organisation, including via a youth parole order or remissions.
  • Detailed information on youth justice precinct practice and procedures is available in the Youth justice custodial services practice manual.
 

Roles and key tasks

Area case manager

  • Provide primary case management to young people released on supervised bail, parole or another community based order.
  • Attend care plan meetings, preferably in person, or by phone/video link.
  • Discuss and plan temporary leave jointly with youth justice precinct workers and other members of the care team.
  • Maintain case notes and regular contact with youth justice precinct workers regarding contact with the young person and their progress.
  • Provide input into exit planning.
  • Complete parole plan, in consultation with the care team.
  • Consult with the Youth Parole or Residential Board.
  • Provide the parole plan and any parole plan updates requested by the boards.

Team leader / team manager

  • Provide consultation and supervision for the case manager.
  • Attend care team meetings when required.
  • Consult with other services on disputes that cannoy be resolved within care teams.
  • Review the temporary leave risk assessment and plan and provide comments where necessary.
  • Review and endorse parole plan.

Individual and Family Support Manager / Assistant Director

  • Provide oversight, direction and monitoring of the area youth justice program.

Youth Justice Senior Practice Advisor

  • Provide case consultation, particularly in relation to high-risk young people, and dispute resolution in cases of disagreement within care teams. This should occur subject to local area agreements between Assistant Director / Manager Individual Family Support and the Senior Practice Advisor.
 

The procedure in detail

Primary case management

Youth justice precinct staff maintain primary case management responsibility while the young person is in the youth justice precinct, including if they participate in the temporary leave program.

All young people sentenced to a youth residential centre or youth justice centre order must be allocated an area youth justice worker regardless of the length of the sentence or whether they will be released on parole or remissions.

For young people released on supervised bail, parole or another community based order, case management responsibility formally shifts to the allocated area youth justice worker.

Care team approach

Collaboration between the young person, their family, youth justice precinct and community based staff and related support services results in good planning, clear goals and continuity of care.

Adopting a care team approach promotes collaborative case management principles.

The elements of a good care team include:

  • participation of the young person
  • identification of a care team coordinator
  • respectful interaction among all participants
  • time spent understanding each participant's role and perspective
  • each worker's professional expertise and opinion is valued
  • input and commitment of all participants
  • dispute resolution processes
  • staying positive and focused on solutions, especially during challenging times
  • documentation and recording of all decisions and actions
  • dissemination of information to all members and following up actions and subsequent meetings.

Refer to the procedure for 'Youth justice care teams' for more information.

Young people on dual orders

The area youth justice worker will facilitate links and communication between youth justice precinct workers and area child protection or disability workers.

The area youth justice worker is responsible for planning for the young person's return to the community.

This includes assisting to establish contact with services and supports.

Youth justice precinct role

The unit coordinator is responsible for overall case management of young people in a unit.

This involves overseeing case management as undertaken by key workers. There is a key worker allocated to a young person for both shifts.

A young person's key worker is responsible for implementing all aspects of the young person's case management.

This includes completing the client assessment and plan, liaison with the young person's family, the area youth justice worker, other professionals and social supports.

If the key worker is unavailable, the unit coordinator is responsible for allocating another worker to tasks normally undertaken by the key worker.

For detailed information on roles and allocation of tasks, see the Youth justice custodial services practice manual.

Area tasks

Community based youth justice workers are responsible for the following tasks and activities while a young person is in a youth justice precinct:

  • regular communication and information exchange with the youth justice precinct key worker/unit manager
  • maintaining regular contact with the young person through visits and telephone calls
  • contributing information to assist in the updating of the client assessment and planning documents
  • attending client service planning meetings and reviews
  • attend remand care plan meeting, preferably in person, or by phone/video link
  • liaison with youth justice precinct workers to identify appropriate community services and supports for referral
  • involvement in temporary leave planning
  • attending subsequent court hearings as required
  • writing reports for court as required.

Young people on remand

Young people on remand are unsentenced and opportunities for bail should be considered where appropriate.

If a young person on a current youth justice order is remanded, youth justice precinct staff must contact the area youth justice worker on their next working day.

All young people in remand should have an allocated local area YJ worker within 21 days of remand, if they do not already have an allocated YJ worker

A remand care plan meeting, led by youth justice precinct staff, should be held within five working days of a young person's admission to remand. There is an expectation that the area youth justice worker will attend the remand care plan meeting, preferably in person, or by phone/video link

The purpose of the meeting is to:

  • identify and address the needs of the young person
  • enhance linkages with family or carers
  • prepare for a successful return to the community.

The remand care plan meeting will:

  • identify and address the needs that require intervention
  • develop a plan to address the issues prior to the next court date
  • bring together relevant supports to collaboratively plan for the young person's return to the community
  • engage the young person as an active participant in the planning process
  • enhance the young person's linkages with family, carers, support workers and their community.

Custodial key worker tasks

The youth justice precinct key worker maintains primary case management responsibility while the young person is sentenced, including during any periods of leave granted.

Custodial workers are responsible for the following tasks and activities:

  • Communicate with the area worker regularly, ensure all relevant information about a young person's progress in custody is shared in a timely manner.
  • Record in case notes all communication with the area worker.
  • Notify the area worker at least five days in advance of meetings they are invited to attend.
  • Verbally advise the area worker within 24 hours of any category 1 and 2 incidents.
  • Encouraging and supporting the young person to maintain contact with their area worker/s.
  • Consult the area about all proposed leave arrangements.
  • Seek input or comment from the area for custodial progress reports or risk assessment and plan reports.
  • Facilitate information sharing between custodial health service providers and area workers.

Client Relationship Information System (CRIS)

CRIS provides comprehensive information, reports and file notes accessible to youth justice precinct workers following a young person's admission to custody.

The unit coordinator is responsible for ensuring correct CRIS allocation of young people in their unit.

When a young person enters custody, the area worker should not be deallocated, rather marked as an 'additional assigned YJ worker' for the duration of the sentence or remand period.

The unit coordinator is responsible for ensuring CRIS closure/handover screens are completed when a young person exits custody.

This ensures all outstanding CRIS tasks and fields are completed that may prevent the case from being closed at the completion of the young person's involvement with youth justice.

New custodial sentences or remand

When a young person who is already on a community based order enters a youth justice precinct, ensure that important information is shared during a verbal handover.

The area should make telephone contact with the youth justice precinct worker and provide an overview of the following:

  • health issues
  • self-harm and suicide risks
  • family and other community supports
  • behavioural issues and management strategies
  • the young person's progress on their community based order.

Exchange of information with Corrections Victoria

The memorandum of understanding with Corrections Victoria contains guidelines for sharing information when:

  • a young person with a Corrections Victoria history, or currently detained in adult prison, is involved with youth justice
  • a young person is transferred from a youth justice precinct to prison
  • a young adult offender has a history of involvement with youth justice
  • a young person aged under 18 years of age enters prison.

Youth justice and Corrections Victoria will work in a spirit of cooperation at all levels to ensure the development of a culture of respect, sharing knowledge and opportunities for positive outcomes.

In all cases, both services will respond to requests for information in a timely manner.

Visiting times and programs

Attendance at youth justice precinct educational and vocational day programs is a crucial component of a young person's rehabilitation.

Area workers and other professionals are required to adhere to visiting times and procedures as detailed in the procedure for 'Visiting young people at a youth justice precinct or adult correctional facility'.

Leave planning

The area youth justice worker should be consulted and kept informed of any leave arrangements proposed for the young person.

The area worker will provide information to contribute to the risk assessment and plan, in relation to their experience of the young person, including risk factors.

See the 'Temporary leave program' procedure for more.

Remissions

The youth justice precinct unit coordinator is responsible for case managing young people eligible for remissions.

Area youth justice workers must be involved in planning for young people exiting custody on remissions.

An exit plan meeting should be held six weeks prior to the young person's release date.

Area workers will have local knowledge to enable referrals to appropriate services and supports for the young person upon their release.

Young people exiting custody on remissions are eligible to access brokerage funding and may be referred to the Youth Justice Community Support Service.

Refer to the procedure for Youth Justice Community Support Service (YJCSS) for more information.

Parole planning

Parole planning is a core responsibility of the area worker throughout the time the young person is in the youth justice precinct.

Collaborative case management and planning is a critical aspect of preparing a young person for transition to the community on parole.

The youth justice precinct workers provide the Youth Parole Board with reports regarding the progress of the young person while in custody.

The area worker provides the parole plan and any parole plan updates requested by the Youth Parole Board.

Refer to the procedure for 'Parole planning' for more information.

Conflict resolution

In the first instance, attempts to resolve any disputes or issues should be managed worker to worker.

For issues that need input from line management, see the best practice for dispute resolution in the Youth justice court advice guidelines and the procedure for 'Youth justice centre suitability assessments – pre-sentence reports'.

Complaints about youth justice precincts

Complaints from young people, their parents or any member of the public can be documented and emailed to: YJCS.complaints@dhs.vic.gov.au (External link) or submitted via the secure complaints boxes.

Complaints brochures and boxes can be found in the reception building at each youth justice precinct.