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Dysfunctional homes lead WA youth to crime

AAP logoAAP 8/12/2016 Rebecca Gredley

Dysfunctional home lives are leading young people in Western Australia to commit crime, a report shows.

The views of 92 young people in detention or on community-based supervision orders, and 10 of their family members, were released in a report on Thursday outlining the main reasons that lead them to crime.

They included family, personal problems, community, friends, school and work.

Commissioner for Children and Young People, Colin Pettit, said earlier support and intervention for troubled parents and families was needed.

"By the time these young people come into contact with justice agencies, much damage has been done and it is imperative that there is a better co-ordinated and resourced approach to working with struggling families at a much earlier point," he said.

"This includes agencies responsible for community health, mental health, drug and alcohol, child protection and parenting services working together far more effectively to help these parents and protect the wellbeing of children."

Aboriginal young people were significantly over-represented in the youth justice system and the indigenous young people consulted described the importance of staying connected to culture and country to help them stay out of trouble.

Other measures included having a safe place to stay if things were bad at home, adult role models, better support at school and help finding a job.

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