Children fined during the pandemic in NSW

Thousands of young people and children were fined in the pandemic for breaching COVID-19 restrictions in NSW, a new report has found.

Several public health orders (PHO) were enforced in NSW between 2020 and 2022, including periods of COVID-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions.

The report was commissioned by Redfern Legal Centre, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), and the NSW/ACT Aboriginal Legal Service. The organisations are calling for the NSW youth justice system to be overhauled.

PIAC CEO Jonathon Hunyor said fines create debts, amplify disadvantage, and build “distrust in the system.”

The report recommended NSW stop issuing fines to children, or consider a minimum age for fine recipients of 16. It also suggested capping penalties for underage people at around $40.

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