Western Australia has the opportunity to lead the country in raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14.
Australia has one of the youngest ages of criminal responsibility in the world – the global median is 14. It’s time for WA to join the ACT, which has already committed to raising the age to 14, and uphold the universal rights of children.
In WA, 72% of the children detained in prisons across the state between 2019 and 2020 were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, despite only making up 5% of the population.
Prison is no place for a child, and the Western Australian Government knows this.
Olabud Doogethu is a community-led social justice program in Halls Creek that is working for children who would otherwise be stuck in the quicksand of the criminal justice system. Diversion programs that are Indigenous and community-led are the solutions to youth crime, not sending children to prison.
We have an opportunity to make a difference – ask Premier Mark McGowan to raise the age to 14, and give these children the support they need to thrive!
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