Anglicare WA is part of a joint campaign to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 and instead invest in solutions that work. The medical evidence tells us children under 14 are still developing - mentally, physically and emotionally - and haven’t yet developed the capacity to assess risk, predict consequences or control their impulses.
Because their brains are still developing, the criminal justice system is more likely to cause them lifelong developmental and mental health trauma. They are simply too young to put in detention. Every child should be free to go to school, have a safe home to live in and be supported to learn from their mistakes.
What you can do
- Talk to others about the issue - one of the big questions posed by opponents or those hesitant about change is “If we don't use the criminal law what do we do for these kids?” The campaign produced these current examples of what can work instead.
- Email or call your MP - Politicians have the power to change the laws to keep children safe, supported and free from prison.