THE NEWMAN Government is promising tough reforms to the Youth Justice Act will be introduced as a matter of urgency when the Queensland Parliament resumes in February.
Acting Attorney-General David Crisafulli said the changes were a key plank in the government’s strategy to arrest juvenile crime rates across Queensland.
“These changes will finally make it clear to juvenile offenders that crime without consequences won’t be tolerated in our suburbs,” Mr Crisafulli said.
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“Families should not have to live in fear of kids breaking into their homes and stealing their most prized possessions from under their noses.
“From Cape York to Coolangatta, communities have demanded action and we are determined to make our towns and cities safe and secure.”
Measures to be voted on when parliament sits on 11 February include:
• Removing detention as a last resort to give the court more discretion during sentencing
• Making breach of bail an offence if a young person commits a crime while on bail
• Naming and shaming of repeat offenders
• Making all juvenile criminal histories available in adult courts to give a magistrate or judge a complete understanding of a defendant’s history
• Transferring juvenile offenders to adult correctional centres when they reach 17 years of age if they have six or more months of their sentence remaining
Mr Crisafulli said the laws would give the courts another string in their bow to deal with juvenile crime and complement the new boot camp option.
“Mistakes by kids can be forgiven, but the systematic disrespect for people and property by a proportion of juveniles in our communities must be addressed,” Mr Crisafulli said.
“We make no apologies for listening to community concerns, nor will we revert to Labor’s failed slap-on-the-wrist approach to crime.”