Youth Justice Boards Appointments Announced

Youth Justice Boards Appointments Announced

Victoria Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge

Community Members For Youth Justice Boards Announced

Victor P Taffa

Two experts in the area of family violence and youth support have been appointed as the community members for the Youth Parole Board and the Youth Residential Board, Community Services Minister Mary Wooldridge announced today.

Ms. Deborah Bryant, who is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Women’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service Victoria, has been reappointed as a community member after providing invaluable expertise for the past three years.

“Ms. Bryant has expertise in the area of family violence and sexual assault, which is highly relevant to the background and needs of many young offenders.” Ms. Wooldridge said.

Helen Dimopoulos, a new appointment, has held management roles at Barwon Youth (previously BAYSA) for eight years, with responsibility for a diverse range of services including alcohol and drug programs. Previously she was a youth justice worker supervising young people on youth justice orders in the Geelong area.

“Ms. Dimopoulos’s extensive experience in the delivery of youth justice services and her knowledge of drug and alcohol programs will assist the boards in dealing with the high proportion of youth justice clients with substance abuse problems.” Ms. Wooldridge said.

The Youth Parole Board and the Youth Residential Board have jurisdiction over all young people sentenced to a period of detention in a youth justice centre or a youth residential centre. The boards play an important role in the youth justice system by allowing young offenders in custody to serve part of their sentence in the community under a comprehensively planned and intensively supervised parole period.

“The government is committed to improving outcomes for young offenders in custody, which also have significant benefits for community safety.” Ms. Wooldridge said.

“The Youth Parole and Youth Residential Boards advance this aim by helping young people re-integrate into the community and engage in rehabilitation programs that seek to minimise the risk of re-offending and enhance community safety.”

Deborah Bryant and Helen Dimopoulos’s appointments run to 30 June 2014.