Training the magistracy

19.89 Magistrates dealing with young offenders must be made aware of the range of available sentencing options. They should be informed properly and systematically of the alternatives to detention. This requires regular flows of information from government departments and other organisations about relevant community programs. Submissions suggest that in many cases judicial officers may not take advantage of the range of sentencing options.[161]

19.90 Magistrates need to be aware of the sentencing options designed specifically for particular young people, including Indigenous young people, young people with disabilities and young women.

19.91 The judicial training proposed in recommendations 236 and 247 should include training on the range of sentencing options available in each jurisdiction, the benefits of each option and the circumstances in which they are likely to be most effective.

19.92 The Inquiry agrees with submissions advocating training for magistrates in the relevant factors in sentencing and the weight which should be attached to them, as a means of achieving greater consistency and fairness in sentencing decisions.[162]

Recommendation 247 Training for judicial officers should include material on the availability and effectiveness of sentencing options for juvenile offenders in each jurisdiction.

[161] Youth Court of SA IP Submission 100; Confidential IP Submission 215.

[162] Oz Child Legal Service IP Submission 195.