Get out of jail card for teens
MOVING 17-year-olds from adult prisons to the youth justice system will start next February, and nine supervised bail houses will be established around the state.
The Palaszczuk Government had intended to commence the switch in November but Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said deferring it would ensure a safe transition.
The supervised bail accommodation centres will house about 60 children, and will begin accepting alleged youth offenders from November.
The centres will be in Townsville, Carbrook, Mt Isa, Logan, Camooweal, Jacobs Well and Wacol.
Ms D’Ath asked the community to “say no to hate” and not target young people in bail accommodation.
“They (the LNP) want everyone to start cowering in fear about having these young people in the community,” she said.
Ms D’Ath said the alleged young offenders would be supervised at all times in the accommodation centres.
“Every one of these bail accommodation (centres) will have a ratio of one staff member to two youths,” she said.
Ms D’Ath said many offenders in the youth justice system were not thugs.
“The fact is, some people will just do bad things, whether they are a young person or an adult,” she said.
“This is about when the court decides when a young person can be released on bail.”
Opposition legal affairs spokesman Ian Walker described the Government’s action as a knee-jerk solution.
“I’m here to talk about the rights of the victims and the rights of the community to be protected,” he said.
“They don’t have enough room and their solution for not having enough room is putting youth offenders into the community.”