The Federation Press

Youth Justice

Your Guide to Cops and Court in New South Wales

Overview

Youth Justice is an ongoing project of Macquarie Legal Centre. This edition was produced in partnership with Shopfront Youth Legal Centre.

Macquarie Legal Centre’s Youth Justice: Your Guide to Cops and Court in New South Wales provides a practical guide for young people who come into contact with the police or the criminal justice system in NSW. Presented in a clear and jargon-free style, the book covers a broad range of topics including police interviews, police searches, the Young Offenders Act and youth justice conferences, bail, court processes, court outcomes, AVOs and dealing with unpaid fines.

Aside from helping young people understand their rights, this book is an essential resource for youth workers, youth advocates, social workers, counsellors, teachers or anyone else who works to support young people. With specially tailored sections on supporting young people through police interviews, youth justice conferences, lawyer interviews and court, Youth Justice enables workers to understand their role and suggests advocacy strategies in dealing with the police or courts.

Now in its fourth edition, the book contains updated information on topics covered in previous editions such as getting legal assistance, police powers, security guards, bail, Local and Children’s Court procedure, alternatives to court proceedings, unpaid fines, and complaints about police.

There is also new material, including a comprehensive update on police powers, information about schemes such as Youth Conduct Orders and Work and Development Orders, new chapters on public transport and traffic law, and a chapter for youth workers about supporting young people through the legal process.

Reviews

Reviews of previous editions:A book in its third edition, like this one, is a success. Lawyers wanting a quick guide, youth workers, legal studies’ teachers, police doing criminal justice courses, should all find it very, very useful. After all, it’s packed full of practical up-to-date information about many facets of our criminal justice system. Money well spent, no doubt about it.... The sub-title too, sells the work short. This book is about much more than cops and courts....This edition has new chapters on getting legal advice and assistance and security guards, as well as expanded sections on court processes and outcomes for common offences. Recent changes to the law and legal processes have also been included with new material on the youth and adult drug courts, police sniffer dogs, drug house legislation and other changes to police powers and court processes in NSW. The brief case histories bring many of the topics to life, though they tend to do so in a uniformly ‘feel good’ way. I enjoyed reading these vignettes of success.... - Law Society (NSW) Journal, Vol 42(8), (Sept 2004), 83

Youth Justice is a coalface book for those supporting young people who come into contact with the criminal justice system in New South wales. Its advice is specific to New South Wales yet the issues will appeal to a national audience. - Pro Bono Australia

This is a book I wish I had the first time I got nabbed. I won’t go into the specifics, but for a youth going to court for the first time – this book is perfect.
The prospect of going to court can seem rather daunting to most. Youth Justice simplifies the big, bad world of cops, lawyers and judges, wrapping it all into a nice easy to read and detailed book which, co-incidentally, only comes in purple.
Youth Justice goes through and details the length of police officers’ authority and power in New South Wales. Whether it is to do with warrants, children on the street, impounding your car, and even expected changes to policing powers – it’s all there. Youth Justice gives a non-complicated run down on Apprended Violence Orders, services for victims for crime, dealing with lawyers, police searches and the powers of security guards.
The text helps to improve police practices as well as dedicating a whole chapter to how you can influence your local police station, taking action against police and making complaints to the Ombudsman (he sounds like a nice bloke).
Youth Justice does not stop there. Further reading explores the issues of bail, going to court, the outcomes of court including sentencing for drug and traffic offences as well as what to do if you have unpaid fines.
As quoted within the text: “The aim of this book is to demystify the system by explaining the law and legal processes in a clear and jargon-free style.” And I totally agree. Youth Justice is great for anyone who likes to live on the borderline of right and wrong (or is interested in juvenile law and practice). A definite buy if you have not been to court and are planning on a visit soon. An insightful read even for the law students (who supposedly know everything anyway). - Macquarie University Law Review, 2004

Table of Contents

What this book is about
Getting legal advice and assistance
Youth workers and their role in the criminal justice system
Victims of crime
Apprendended violence orders
Dealing with police on the street
Police searches
Arrest and warrants
At the police station
Police questioning
Complaints and co-operation: working to improve police practices
Security guards: what powers do they really have?
Public transport and transit officers
Driving: rules and traffic offences
Young Offenders Act: warnings, cautions and conferences
Bail
Going to court
Appearing in court as a witness
Drug courts and other special programs
Outcomes of court
After court
Unpaid fines
Contacts: a justice advocate’s phone book
Resources
Words, words, words: a criminal justice jargon-buster
Index

Of interest...