Victoria is "rushing through dangerously regressive" laws to crack down on youth crime but they will not make the state any safer, an advocacy group says.
The Andrews Labor government last month announced changes that would see more youths tried as adults, more teens in adult jails and hand greater powers to protective service officers to search members of the public.
In a submission to parliament's all-party scrutiny of acts and regulations committee, the Victorian Council of Social Service has slammed the changes.
"The government is doing things that look tough, but will not make the Victorian community any safer," VCOSS chief executive Emma King said in a statement.
The seven-page submission says the state was once the envy of other Australian jurisdictions for its leadership and innovation in the youth justice sector.
"(But now) Victoria is adopting policies that deliberately hurt young offenders for no meaningful gain and stymie their rehabilitation," the submission reads.
VCOSS says the youth justice bill infringes human rights of teens, blurs the lines between the youth and adult systems and obstructs rehabilitation.
And the move to increase PSO search powers is a worry because it is open to racial profiling and negatively affect young people searched.
The VCOSS submission will be released on Tuesday.