New Youth Justice Officers for the Northern Territory

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The Northern Territory is now home to twenty-one new Youth Justice Officers (YJO), following a recent graduation ceremony held in Darwin.

The seven-week course delivered a nuanced approach to youth justice, with particular focus on the complexities linked to young people’s conduct.

Michael Adams, recipient of ‘Best Performer’ at the ceremony, says the training was an “eye-opening” experience.

“Training as a YJO gave me a deeper understanding of why young people offend, and the trauma that often instigates their behavioural patterns,” he said.

“Underlying trauma is such an integral part of so many of these young people’s lives, and highlights so many of the other issues faced by communities in the Territory.”

Wayne Carmichael, Head Trainer, said the training covers all the legislation involved in dealing with youth, whilst applying a therapeutic approach to behavioural change.

“A lot of our young people come from really difficult backgrounds, so this training is not about punishment, but instead, investigating all the factors involved in why young people offend and ways we can help address these.”

The recent graduates have spent the past couple of weeks working in the field as YJOs, an experience which Mr Adams said has been incredibly rewarding.

“These kids, for all their issues, are extremely intelligent individuals who deserve patience and understanding,” he said.

“If I can change just one youth in my role as a YJO then I know the long and lengthy process has been all worth it in the end.”

(From left) Jeanette Kerr, DCEO Families is pictured with recent YJO graduate, Michael Adams.
(From left) Jeanette Kerr, DCEO Families is pictured with recent YJO graduate, Michael Adams.

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