Juvenile Justice New South Wales (JJNSW) Practice Framework: A conceptual map guiding innovative, evidence-based interventions in youth justice in NSW

Miss Kristina Bustamante1, Mrs Kathryn Khademi1

1Juvenile Jusitce, Sydney, Australia

This paper explores the context and rationale for the development of the updated practice framework for JJNSW. A practice framework is defined as a conceptual map that consolidates an agency’s approach to offender intervention with young people and their families.

Designed as a tool for all JJNSW staff, this practice framework aims to provide an innovate solution and contemporary response to challenges faced within youth justice. The JJNSW Practice Framework integrates a number of intersecting perspectives: young person-centred; culturally responsive; and strengths and evidence-based. The practice framework establishes a vision for NSW young offender intervention that is grounded in the realities of practice, supported by research and embedded in a set of principles and values that are essential to the work. It also introduces a tiered system for categorising JJNSW endorsed programs allowing more appropriately targeted service delivery.

As a concept, it provides a clear understanding of the key theories and fundamental skills that underpins the work, and how this informs interventions across the spectrum of engagement, assessment, case management and reintegration within the JJNSW scope of service delivery. This spectrum sits within the Risk-Needs-Responsivity model, ensuring that practices are linked to evidence-based theory. As a tool for practitioners, it provides a theoretically informed logic for service delivery and a set of triggers to enable a consistent, system-wide approach to intervention.

Until now, this consolidating piece was the missing component in the strategic approach to the way JJNSW worked with young people and the agency’s approach to staff skill development.


Kris is the Senior Project Officer for the Practice Unit for Juvenile Justice NSW. Her current focus is on building and strengthening evidence-based practice across the agency and enhancing service delivery. Kris has worked with Juvenile Justice for over five years, with complementary experience in both custodial and community settings, and more recently in project implementation. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Sydney and a postgraduate qualification in counselling from the Australian College of Applied Psychology. Kris is a keen advocate for LGBTQ youth, and is a volunteer counsellor for the Sydney-based youth organisation Twenty10.

Australasian Youth Justice Conference

The Australasian Youth Justice Administrators (AYJA) hosts a bi-annual Australasian Youth Justice Conference (AYJC) for academics, practitioners, and government and non-government agencies to drive and showcase youth justice initiatives and innovations nationally and internationally.  Learnings from these conferences contribute to evidence-based responses for youth justice and provide new ideas for youth justice at both a jurisdictional, national and international level.  EMAIL: secretariat@ayja.org.au

AYJA is working in collaboration with Juvenile Justice New South Wales (JJ NSW) and the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) to deliver the third AYJC in 2019.

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