Call to Parties on Youth Justice

Here’s an early summary of recommendations from the Commissioners:
+ Raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12; linked to well resourced early intervention and diversion processes
+ Close the Don Dale detention centre. Replace it with a new system of smaller, decentralised, de-institutionalised facilities
+ Children under 14 to be detained only for serious crimes
+ Ban the use of tear gas and mechanical restraints
+ Introduce body video cameras for all direct contact staff
+ Prohibit use of isolation for 24 hours and longer as punishment
+ Build a 10 year generational strategy for child protection and the prevention of harm to children
+ Increase engagement and collaboration with Aboriginal organisations in child protection

Does this say something to us in the Queensland election campaign as we face vast differences in YJ policy – between the ALP and the LNP?
It says to me .....
1. The strategy of prevention, early intervention, diversion, intense engagement, alternative education, vocational training – needs our support more than ever.
See the Balanced Justice Call to Parties attached.
2. The policy of incarcerating kids on remand from Childrens Court in youth detention centres (Brisbane or Townsville) must end – sooner the better
3. The election promise to return to a Newman era punish them into oblivion must be seen for what it is ....pure authoritarian, unintelligent and against all evidence.
4. The promise to build 2 new jails for younger adult detainees will beef up the university of career criminality – far too much evidence of that.
5. Forget the blanket, Townsville-wide curfews – no substitute for intelligent, targeted engagement.


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