The call goes out to help young people at risk

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An average of 180 young people are in custody across Victoria every day, according to recent statistics.

Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, Simon Overland, today re-affirmed the vital importance of the work of organisations such as Whitelion to the lives of young people at risk.

Speaking at the launch of the annual Bail Out Week fundraiser, the Chief Commissioner said reconnecting young people who had been involved with the youth justice system with their local communities was essential to prevent re-offending.

He continued: “More importantly Whitelion works closely with disconnected young people to prevent them from offending in the first place. It is in everyone’s interest to keep young people out of the criminal justice system.

“As a policeman and as a father I know how important it is for young people to have a strong positive role model to guide them through life’s challenges. I believe the positive impact Whitelion’s mentors have on these young people will remain with them for life.”

Whitelion is a not-for-profit community organisation that supports and empowers young people at risk to reach their full potential. Through providing mentors, role models and employment opportunities Whitelion’s programs support those that have been involved with or are at risk of being involved with the youth justice and/or out of home care systems.

This year’s Bail Out Week activities will run from Monday 23 through to Friday 27 May with people from across the state coming out in support of Whitelion and literally locking themselves up to raise money!

Whitelion’s Lead Ambassador and former Chairman John Turner encouraged all Victorian’s to get involved in Bail Out Week and make a real difference to the lives of young people in the state.

He said: “Bail Out Week is incredibly important for Whitelion. We’re hoping to raise $300,000 to help young people who have suffered abuse, neglect, drug addiction, poverty and those who have been involved with the youth justice and welfare systems. The more money raised, the more young people can directly benefit from Whitelion’s fantastic programs.”

Bail Out Week

There are various ways to get involved with Bail Out Week. Anybody can register online to Bail Out. Once each individual has raised or donated $25 they will be issued with a ‘hand-cuff’ to wear throughout the week.

The main event takes place at the Old Melbourne Gaol on Friday May 27. Fundraisers can register as individuals or as part of a team to become ‘inmates’ and step behind bars and into the shoes of young people at risk. Inmates will have one cell, one phone and a target of one thousand dollars to Bail Out and be freed into the famous Parole Party where they will be dazzled by theatrical displays, live performances and guest appearances.

The likes of Schweppes, KFC, Vodafone and Minter Ellison have already committed to getting involved.

Bail Out week will also comprise the annual Youth Justice Forum which will see an expert panel debate the impact that jobless families have on society and crime. Meanwhile, a special musical extravaganza will be held in Geelong.

For further information visit, email or call (03) 9389 4420.