Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath has called on the LNP to stop scaring the community about youth crime in their desperate bid to win votes.
Mrs D’Ath said the LNP’s campaign of scaremongering over the Palaszczuk Government’s evidence-based youth justice policies smacked of desperation.
“Where is the evidence that any of the LNP’s thoughtless youth crime policies worked?” Mrs D’Ath said.
“They did nothing to stop reoffending. Their $16 million boot camps were an expensive failure which didn’t have any effect on recidivism.”
“Meanwhile, the Palaszczuk Government’s response to youth crime in Townsville has resulted in a decrease in the number of offences committed by young people by 12% in the past year and a 25% reduction in the number of young people offending over the last two years.
“Our plan to introduce Supervised Bail Accommodation is another example of keeping our communities safe while trying to break the cycle of reoffending.
“These are not “suburban detention facilities” as the LNP would have you believe.
“These are fully supervised facilities for young people, many of whom would be on bail in their own homes – if they had a home, or safe home to return to.”
Mrs D’Ath said about 80% of young people in youth detention in Queensland are on remand, awaiting the outcome of their court matters. That is, they are in custody despite not being convicted of the offence.
“In Townsville, for example, the Supervised Bail Accommodation will be in existing young justice facilities, already accepted in the community.
“For local candidates to stand in front of buildings demanding to know specific locations is wilfully irresponsible and dangerous for young people and the community.”
“Are the LNP trying to encourage some sort of vigilantism? They should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.
“Young people in the youth justice system come from difficult backgrounds. Many have been sexually molested, assaulted, abused and neglected. They are homeless. They have disabilities and mental health issues and are addicted to drugs.
“Many of these youth are connected to the child safety system. In the same breath, the LNP are saying more needs to be done to child safety, while at the same time calling this group of youth “thugs”. The LNP should hang their heads in shame.
“Every attack on early intervention programs to stop youths offending, is an attack on our Neighbourhood Centres, PCYCs, youth organisations and shelters, who deliver these programs every day.
“The LNP are happy to visit these organisations to shake hands and get photos, while attacking the vulnerable youths that they support.
“This is not surprising considering these are the same organisations that were stripped of funding by Tim Nicholls as Treasurer. No doubt, he will do it again.
“In the meantime, the Palaszczuk Government will keep on with the day-to-day business of governing for all Queenslanders and building safer communities. “
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath