The Palaszczuk Government is investing almost $17 million in bail support to help reduce the number of children and young people on remand.
Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women Di Farmer said the funding would also make sure young people who are on bail met their court-imposed conditions.
“This funding will be spent over the coming three years and is vital in supporting young people who are charged or at risk of being charged with an offence,” Ms Farmer said.
“We need to see the number of children and young people in custody reducing, and that’s why we are investing almost $17 million across Queensland.
“This funding will support children and young people in areas of Queensland where there is demand for support.”
The additional support will provide legal representation, assist young people with bail applications and then help those on bail to comply with the conditions of their bail.
Ms Farmer said young offenders needed to be held accountable for their actions, but the goal was to see fewer young people in detention.
“More than 80 per cent of young people in detention are on remand, and many of them are only in detention because they do not have safe and secure homes to go to.
“We know that if you put a young person in detention it almost guarantees they will offend again.
“We can’t keep doing what has been done for decades and expect the results to be different. We need to change these young people’s story.
“We are putting in this additional support to help young people comply with bail conditions and break the cycle of offending, which will keep the whole community safer,” she said.
Ms Farmer said Bob Atkinson’s recent report into youth justice demonstrated that many children who offend for the first time will never re-offend.
“That’s why it is vital that we offer legal advocacy and bail support services for youth offenders,” she said.
Ms Farmer said the Palaszczuk Government is investing $1.2 million per annum across the state to fund a greater number of legal practitioners who will submit bail applications and provide legal representation.
“I want to see a more consistent legal approach to helping young people, no matter where they are in Queensland,” Ms Farmer said.
“The evidence shows that bail support works best when the young person participates voluntarily, are engaged immediately at court and are supported with services to meet their individual needs such as education, housing, substance abuse and mental health.
“All young offenders deserve the opportunity for a fair hearing, and to have needs met that will keep them out of the Youth Justice system.”
Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Di Farmer