LNP Shadow Attorney-General and Minister for Justice David Janetzki said today would go down as Black Friday for our youth justice system, with the Palaszczuk Government clearly having given up on fixing the system.
“Our youth justice system has gone from one crisis to another under Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor,” Mr Janetzki said.
“We’ve seen report after report, review after review, recommendation after recommendation – but the problems are only getting worse.
“Today’s Youth Justice Report seems to be more about making excuses to go soft on crime to ease the overcrowding issues, rather than fixing our broken youth justice system.
“We’ve seen recommendations about raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility in Queensland from 10 to 12, GPS tracking of young offenders so they don’t need to be in detention and suggestions that some minor offences might not be prosecuted.
“These aren’t the answers to solving Labor’s youth justice crisis.
“Youth offenders being accountable for their actions and early intervention and rehabilitation must be the way forward.
“We need to make sure young offenders are rehabilitated and skilled up properly so they have a fair crack at turning their lives around.
“Queensland can’t afford at risk youth veering towards a life of crime as hardened adult criminals.
“The youth justice system is in complete crisis under Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor.”
Mr Janetzki said today’s announcement also revealed the true extent of Labor’s bungling of the transfer of 17 year olds to youth detention.
“We’ve heard that there are still 34 (17-year olds) in adult jails, despite Labor promising to transition them by November last year,” Mr Janetzki said.
“Labor completely bungled the transfer of these offenders from adult jails to youth detention centres, as we predicted when the Bill was debated in November 2016*.
“Youth crime is rampant in Townsville, the Gold Coast and other parts of Queensland.
“Our youth detention centres are overcrowded and Labor’s solution of bail houses across the suburbs of Queensland has already cost $5 million, won’t help rehabilitate youth offenders and will put community safety at risk.
“In 2016, Labor scrapped strong laws that the LNP put in place to hold young offenders accountable for their crimes.
“Is it any wonder that we have youth gangs wandering the streets at night, causing mayhem and mischief and continually snubbing their noses at the law, the police and the courts.
“We have a revolving door system that isn’t holding repeat offenders accountable. In 2016/17, 10% of youth offenders were responsible for 43% of offences in Queensland.
“At 71%, over-representation of indigenous offenders has also gotten worse under Labor.**
“We have a broken youth justice system and no one should have any confidence that Labor will fix the mess