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Young Offenders on Offending: The voices of young people who offend, insight into modus operandi and lived experiences

A disproportionate volume of crime is committed by young people. For many this behaviour is transitional and will cease when the young person ages and matures (Moffit, 1993). However, for some the offending becomes a persistent life-course journey with frequent contact with the Criminal Justice System. This costs the community economically (via funding police, security and insurance, etc.) and psychologically (via victimisation and fear of crime, etc.). Therefore, in Collaboration with the Children’s Court of Western Australia, WA Police and ECU have funded an examination into the familial, social and educational circumstances of young people who have contact with the Children’s Court, to gain an understanding of the risk factors, motivations and methods of youth offending (particularly burglary). The data can be utilised to identify prevention and treatment strategies that can inform sentencing dispositions and case management practices. The research investigates: the modus operandi of young people who offend; how the young people describe their familial, social, educational and other lived experiences; what young people believe would assist them to cease or reduce offending behaviour; the relationship, if any, young people perceive between their substance use and their offence decision-making; and their perceptions regarding their Children’s Court and CCDC experiences?

Funding agency

Western Australia Police & ECU – Industry Collaboration Grant

Project duration

January 2016 - December 2017


Dr Natalie Gately
Dr James McCue

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