Mission Australia knows that vulnerable youth, including those who have been abused or neglected, are also more likely to be incarcerated. They risk becoming our most marginalised adults.

It’s not uncommon for young people to engage in some type of anti-social behaviour, but relatively few go on to become persistent offenders.
Young people who get caught up in a cycle of offending can face a bleak future.

We will see them in our homeless shelters, in hospital emergency wards being treated for acute mental illness and in our jails. Jailing young people is costly and counterproductive: it actually increases recidivism rates.

The message we are telling government, the media and community is that locking up young people is not the solution.

We believe investing in diversionary and post-release support programs and improving the capacity of teachers, nurses, counsellors, schools and hospitals to identify children at risk will reduce the likelihood of offending.

Learn more by downloading Mission Australia’s Position on Youth Justice 2013

Find out more about Mission Australia's Annual Youth Survey, or download our research into young people.

Support for young people

Independence is something we all strive for, but life rarely turns out as planned. Don't be afraid to reach out for help.

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These organisations also offer health and wellbeing support for young people:

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Read about what we’ve been working on, our stance on important social issues and how you make a difference to vulnerable Australians' lives.

Purpose - 'Inspired by Jesus Christ, Mission Australia exists to meet human need and to spread the knowledge of the love of God'