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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
    The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

    Palaszczuk Government committed to tackling youth crime

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
    The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

    Friday, August 18, 2017

    Palaszczuk Government committed to tackling youth crime

    The Palaszczuk Government is committed to tackling youth crime and breaking the cycle of offending in the long term.

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said, where the LNP had glossy brochures, the Palaszczuk Government had detailed, evidence-based policies to keep communities safe.

    “Residents have a right to feel safe in their communities,” Mrs D’Ath said.

    “We recognise the best way to tackle these issues with young people is to implement evidence-based policies, turn their lives around, stop re-offending and to build stronger communities.

    “And that’s what we’re doing. In Townsville, the number of offences by young people has decreased by 12% in the past year.”

    Mrs D’Ath said it was concerning the LNP were using a serious issue like youth justice to score cheap political points.

    “What’s more, there is nothing new to see here,” Mrs D’Ath said.

    “Tim Nicholls is cut from the exact same cloth as Campbell Newman, and they are now recycling policies that we know did not work before.”

    Mrs D’Ath said the LNP have proven that they know nothing about solving youth justice issues and that their recycled policies didn’t even work the first time.

    “Take the breach of bail offence for instance – the LNP introduced this while they were in Government but courts rarely heard these matters. In fact, less than 10 breaches of bail cases went before the court.

    “What’s more is that it did nothing to reduce the rates of young people who offended while on bail; it clearly did not act as a deterrent.”

    Mrs D’Ath also said it was concerning the LNP wanted to remove detention as a last resort.

    “This principle is applied by all jurisdictions in Australia and across the world, and is a convention recognised by the United Nations.

    “The LNP’s move to remove detention as a last resort was highly criticised by all stakeholders – Qld Law Society, Qld Bar Association, judiciary, NGOs and world bodies including Amnesty International. It is an irrelevant legislation change in terms of changing the course of offending for young people in this State.

    “And let’s not forget how they wasted more than $14 million of taxpayer dollars on their failed boot camp experiment, which did nothing to reduce re-offending rates.”

    Mrs D’Ath said the LNP were also too ignorant to realise some of their “policies” were already in place.

    “Community Service Orders are applied by the courts every day in Queensland.

    “In regards to drivers licences - a lot of these youth don’t even have licences in the first place. Yet again, these policies are plucked out of thin air and are not based on evidence.”

    Mrs D’Ath said naming and shaming child offenders was not the answer to solving youth offending issues.

    “That is why we overturned the LNP’s punitive laws when we came into Government,” she said.

    “However, there are provisions in the Legislation where a court can allow publication of identifying information about a child, if it is in the interests of justice.”

    The Palaszczuk Government believes in a whole-of-government approach to tackling youth crime.

    “We allocated $23.6 million over four years to reinstate youth justice conferencing, allowing courts to make young people more accountable for their behaviour, face up to their victims, take responsibility for their actions and make long term changes to their behaviour,” Mrs D’Ath said.

    The Palaszczuk Government has also implemented a range of other initiatives to tackle youth justice issues, including:

    • Restorative Justice program (which includes youth justice conferencing)
    • Transition 2 Success program - engages at risk young offenders with education and training. So far, 70% of young people through this program have not reoffended
    • Townsville Community Youth Response (including a Specialist High Risk Youth Court, intensive case management, community services, cultural mentoring programs)
    • Accepted all of the 83 recommendations of the Independent Review into Youth Detention in Queensland and invested $26.2 million over four years to implement these recommendations
    • Trauma Informed Practice - provides staff the ability to work more effectively with young people about their behaviour
    • First Nations Action Board - comprises of Youth Justice staff from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds to look at ways to reduce the over-representation of young people in the youth justice system
    • Children's Court Committee – established to develop strategies to reduce remand times
    • Transitioning 17-year-olds from adult criminal justice system into the youth justice system

    Media contact: 0437 696 809