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I'm Not Crime

The Royal Commission into Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory team at RA provided services to those affected by the Royal Commission. One of the most successful programs was I'm Not Crime.

Relationships Australia ran a group program called ‘I’m Not Crime’ in 2018. The young men who participated in this music event gave the Royal Commission team information every day about our service and about how we can do it better. They gave us a lot of feedback through conversations and through video interviews. Their music told us stories about what we need to consider when working with young people who have been in contact with the justice system.

The objectives of I’m Not Crime were to support youth and strengthen community relations between young people and families through positive engagement. To reconnect young people with culture and country through culturally appropriate activities facilitated by Aboriginal Elders who can share the spiritual, physical and emotional connections to country. Educate youth about services available to them and their families. Create a healthy conversation around youth crime between young people, elders, families and organizations. To fill a gap for culturally appropriate activities during school holidays and strengthen connections between relevant services involved. Lastly the program aimed to create a song that the participants could be proud of and be utilised as educational purposes in the future.

All participants were young Indigenous men who are currently involved in the criminal justice system. Activities were delivered in collaboration with other services providers and met the intended outcomes.

Young people attending the activity were engaged in an activity that diverted them from participating in anti-social behaviour and provided feedback clearly outlining that. The elements of the projects that worked well were attractive a cohort of young people who usually don’t engage with services in an activity that allowed them to identify strengths, and to provide a pathway to ongoing service delivery.

The feedback from the program was very positive with participants noting that “It was good to get me up out of bed”. It was diversionary, “If I wasn’t here, I’d be at home just bored, or ….[taking] drugs, the wrong crowd, the wrong people”. And, that it had a positive effect “It felt good compared to last week”; “I reckon a program like this could be revolutionary…… it has been an outreach to us, it has helped us a lot…..more than anybody else could have.”

Listen to the I'm Not Crime song via Soundcloud. https://soundcloud.com/j-mangohig/i-am-not-crime-1st-mix/s-zWcQP

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