Engagement support for young people in the criminal justice system

Young people who are involved in the criminal justice system can receive support from the Education Justice Initiative.

The initiative helps young people aged 10 to 17 reconnect and remain engaged with education and training in a way that suits their needs and interests. It runs at high volume children's courts and all Koorie Children's Courts in Victoria.

Education Justice Initiative services

Our team members are available to:

  • talk to young people about their educational needs and interests
  • liaise with schools and training providers on behalf of young people, to help them get back into education.

So whether a young person wants to return to school, enrol in TAFE, apply for an apprenticeship or doesn't know what they want to do, help and advice is available.

Other services include:

  • advocating on behalf of the young person to resolve education issues and connect young people to necessary support or programs
  • facilitating enrolment in schools, alternative education settings and vocational courses
  • giving information to the court about the young person's education to assist the court in decision making.

Eligibility

Young people aged 10 to 17 years old who have a matter with the criminal division of the Children's Court or the Koori Children's Court are eligible to receive support and advice from one of our team members.

If a young person already has a worker from a government agency, our team members can work with them to ensure a coordinated, multi-disciplinary approach. This includes youth justice worker, Children's Court Diversion Service workers or Child Protection case managers.

Young people who are not connected to government agency support services can be referred directly to the program.

Referrals

Use a referral form and email it to your local Education Justice Initiative team member.

Referral forms can also be completed at court and handed directly to our team members on scheduled Children's Court sitting days.

Referrals can be made by:

  • young people and their families
  • magistrates
  • police
  • Youth Justice and the Children's Court Youth Diversion Service
  • Victoria Legal Aid / legal representatives
  • community organisations
  • schools .

Staff and court locations

Our team members attend:

  • Children's Court sitting days in all headquarter courts
  • Koori Children's Court
  • higher volume children's courts across Victoria.

Koorie education liaison officers provide services to young Koorie people with matters in Koori Children's Courts or mainstream Children's Courts.

Regional education liaison officers provide services to all young people in mainstream Children's Courts and Koori Children's Courts.

Regional education liaison officers

Melbourne and Ballarat

Email: smith.claire.s2@edumail.vic.gov.au
Phone: 0475 805 663
Email: butt.oliver.o@edumail.vic.gov.au
Phone: 0475 805 663

Geelong, Sunshine and Werribee

Email: miller.casey.l@edumail.vic.gov.au
Phone: 0436 634 917

Frankston and Moorabbin

Email: bramall-white.victoria.j@edumail.vic.gov.au
Phone: 0436 615 188

Ringwood

Email: chiang.julia.k@edumail.vic.gov.au
Phone: 0436 692 784

Bendigo and Broadmeadows

Email: douglas.shona.i@edumail.vic.gov.au
Phone: 0429 210 693

Dandenong and Heidelberg

Email: jessup.mark.m@edumail.vic.gov.au
Phone: 0448 613 625

Koorie education liaison officers

Geelong, Warrnambool, Portland and Hamilton

Email: hamence.gary.a@edumail.vic.gov.au
Phone: 0429 519 928

Shepparton, Wodonga and Benalla

Email: atkinson.misti.a@edumail.vic.gov.au
Phone: 0477 326 757

Mildura, Swan Hill and Robinvale

Email: murray.jenene.m1@edumail.vic.gov.au
Phone: 0437 965 486

LaTrobe Valley, Bairnsdale and Sale

Email: walsh.stephen.j@edumail.vic.gov.au
Phone: 0438 045 477

The Melbourne, Geelong, Warrnambool, Shepparton, Mildura, LaTrobe Valley and Bairnsdale locations contain a Mainstream Children's Court and a Koori Children's Court in the area.

The Portland and Hamilton locations contain only a Koori Children's Court.

If you are unable to contact your local representative, please email your referral to the central team on eji.referrals@edumail.vic.gov.au

Background

Young people involved in the criminal justice system have typically experienced significant disadvantage, and are often disengaged from education. There is strong evidence that education is key to reducing young people's risk of reoffending, and building positive life skills and improving long term outcomes.

The Education Justice Initiative assists young people to re-engage with education in a way that suits their needs and interests. The initiative is run by the Department and is supported by the Children's Court of Victoria. ​​