IT DOESN’T ADD UP
$ 50,000 per year to educate a young criminal …
YOUNG criminals inside Cleveland Youth Detention Centre receive nearly four times the funding spent on educating the average Queensland state school student.
Data shows it cost nearly $ 50,000 per full- time student at Cleveland in 2016, while the average amount of money spent on secondary state school students across Queensland was $ 13,599.
The $ 49,777 spent on education and training for Cleveland detainees, also trumps the $ 28,723 spent on students with disabilities across the state.
In the July sitting of State Parliament, Education Minister Kate Jones answered a Question on Notice from the LNP about the amount of funding the Cleveland Education and Training Centre was granted over a number of years.
In her answer, Ms Jones told Parliament that in 2016, for the equivalent of 54 full- time students, the centre was given $ 2.668 million to fund the education program.
According to the Myschool website, the education section of the facility employed 19 teaching staff — 17 full- time and two part- time — along with 17 nonteaching staff, for an equivalent of 11 full- time staff. The data also reveals in 2016, 22 of the detention centre students were suspended from school for poor behaviour.
A source inside the detention centre told the Bulletin that inmates were given every opportunity to learn, with access to high- quality resources.
“It is compulsory, but a lot of them just sit around a table for a while, and the staff try and get them to learn, it’s a pain … because a lot of them just don’t want to do it,” the source said.
“It’s ridiculous the amount of teachers and equipment they’ve got, the computers alone. The average school in Townsville would love the gear they’ve got there.
“You have the teachers, the teacher aides and the youth workers in there with them … the ratio is crazy.”
LNP education spokeswoman Tracy Davis said the numbers weren’t adding up and the Government needed to step up and do more for those in detention.
“Youth offending has escalated under this soft- on- crime, do- nothing Labor Government and it’s set to get even worse,” Ms Davis said.
“The cost to educate young people in detention is sadly linked to the number of young people being detained.
“Not only are we seeing our youth detention centres full of kids, we are seeing major disruptions in suspension numbers from education programs run at detention facilities.
“Despite all the hoopla spread by Labor’s part- time Education Minister, it is clear that record spending on education in youth detention doesn’t equate to achieving the best outcomes for these young people.”
She said the detainees needed more options for when they were released from detention.
“There needs to be more for these young people than just good intentions for their education while they in detention,” Ms Davis said.
“They need a solid plan to either continue their education or be supported with pathways to employment.”
The Department of Education and Education Minister Kate Jones did not respond to requests for comment by deadline last night.