The ACT Government is committed to justice reinvestment initiatives that focus on early intervention and high-quality services to prevent incarceration. 

Raising the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility (MACR)

LPP is working closely with officers in the Community Services Directorate (CSD) to support the ACT Government’s consideration of how a higher minimum age of criminal responsibility could be implemented in the ACT. The current MACR in the ACT is 10 years. Raising the MACR in the ACT is supported by current research on child development and neuroscience. This work has included:

  • overseeing an independent review of the service system needs and implementation requirements for raising the MACR in the ACT
  • developing a public Discussion Paper to guide community feedback on a number of policy issues involved with raising the MACR in the ACT, and
  • establishing and providing secretariat support for the MACR Reference Group, a governance body comprised of ACT Government officials, academics and legal and community groups that provides ongoing feedback to the Government on reform considerations.

Building Communities, Not Prisons and Reducing Recidivism

A range of activities progressed the Building Communities Not Prisons initiative including:

  • strengthening of the Warrumbul Circle Sentencing Court to provide culturally relevant
  • sentencing options for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people, and
  • continuing the ACT Bail Support Program to reduce the number of people on remand through an ongoing Coordinator & Cultural Advisor role.

The ACT Government continued to develop and implement evidence-based programs focused on rehabilitation and reintegration, addressing the root causes of recidivism.  In 2020-21, LPP coordinated work across government including:

  • launching the RR25by25 Plan (2020 to 2023), reflecting the combined effort of a range of Government, community and academic agencies across the justice and human services systems to reduce recidivism and improve community safety, and
  • commencing the Reducing Recidivism Research Collaboration (Collaboration) between the JACS Directorate and the Australian National University to build an evidence base to support decisions about reducing recidivism and diverting offenders from the justice system.