Young people: diversion programs

A pre-court youth diversion program may be an option for young people aged between 10 and 17 years instead of going to court.

They are available in almost all Northern Territory (NT) communities.

A young person can participate in a diversion program twice.

If they break the law a third time, they will have to go to the Children's Court unless there are exceptional circumstances.

What is a diversion program

The program may include any of the following

  • a verbal or written warning
  • youth justice conferences involving family, the victim and the offender
  • referrals for the young person to use professional services to address their offending behaviour.

A young person may have to attend other programs such as:

  • alcohol or drug abuse programs
  • or community service programs.

The types of community programs may include any of the following

  • working at animal shelters
  • providing homeless support
  • carrying out work for other not-for-profit services.

These programs may include work to pay back some money to either the victim or the community.

Read more about arrests, police and young people.

Who runs a diversion program

The following organisations offer pre-court youth and/or diversionary programs:

  • YWCA of Darwin
  • Tiwi Islands Council
  • Anglicare – NT
  • East Arnhem Regional Council 
  • Relationships Australia (Alice Springs)
  • YMCA Katherine
  • Catholic Care NT
  • Malabam Health Board (Wadeye and Tennant Creek)
  • Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation
  • Groote Eylandt and Milyakburra Youth Development Unit.

Last updated: 27 June 2017