The battle to raise the age of criminal responsibility and keep children just 10 years old out of Canberra's Bimberi detention centre is set to continue, with the wheels of bureaucracy grinding on within government.
As the ACT Human Rights Commission again called for the age of criminal responsibility to be lifted to 14 years old, the ACT government's preferred approach in its Blueprint for Youth Justice is to first develop a "model of care".
The ACT Human Rights Commission has been advocating for the minimum age of criminal responsibility to be raised since 2005.
It was 20 years ago that the age was raised to 10 years old, but as ACT Children and Young People Commissioner Jodie Griffiths-Cook pointed out "we know so much more about children's development now".
"It is time to make sure our laws reflect that," she said.
The minimum age of 10 remains prevalent across Australian jurisdictions despite evidence from Europe which reveals that removing very young children from the youth justice system and dealing with them in a more progressive way helps to steer them away from the "revolving door" of detention.
"Many children who come into contact with the youth justice system have experienced more trauma in their young lives than most of us could imagine," Ms Griffiths-Cook said.
"Not having the services we need is not a good enough reason to cause further harm to children by keeping the law as it is and allowing children to be imprisoned.
"Evidence clearly shows that the earlier a child is detained, the more likely they are to re-offend. We should be looking for ways to help them instead of locking them up."
The most recent Bimberi status report presented to the ACT Assembly in September revealed that of the 41 young people in detention, 11 were aged under 14. Of these, four where Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders.
However, the "average" number of children held in Bimberi, the report says, is 11.
Globally, Scandinavian countries are among the most progressive on the minimum age of incarceration.
Denmark, Sweden and Norway all set the age at 15 years old.
Serious issues related to the treatment of juveniles in the Don Dale detention centre just outside Darwin led to the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory recommending that the age of criminal responsibility be raised to 12.
However, the Commission's recommendations also provided some flexibility for children under 14 to be detained for serious and violent crimes, and if they presented a risk to the community.