Get out of jail card for teens

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - AN­THONY TEMPLETON

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.”

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