As of 31 August 2022, there were 205 young people held in youth detention in NSW, of those young people eight are under the age of 14 and the youngest is 11 years of age.
No child under the age of 14 should be in prison. Raising the age of criminal responsibility does not mean taking away responsibility, it is about changing the responses to wrongful behaviour and dealing with the underlying causes.
The NSW Government is currently spending $713,940 per child per year of imprisonment. The current youth imprisonment rate is costing around $146 million per year, and around $5.7 million to keep eight children under 14 in prison. Over 50% of children in prison are First Nations children.
The United Nations, leading child development science and human rights groups across Australia and the world agree that children younger than 14 years of age cannot and should not be held criminally responsible. Other Australian States and Territories are already taking steps to raise the age.
In NSW, The Attorney General has admitted the NSW Government has no plans to raise the age. We need this to change. We urgently need to raise the age to 14.
Will you join the call to raise the age by emailing the Attorney General?