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Report on Youth Justice in Queensland 2018

Jul 20, 2018

In February 2018, former Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson was commissioned to examine and report on a range of youth justice matters. This included the progress of the Government's youth justice reforms, measures to reduce recidivism, and recommendations for youth detention from the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse. The "Report on Youth Justice" covers the first two terms of reference with the third being the subject of a separate report. The key finding and recommendation is that the Queensland Government adopt as its policy position for youth justice four objectives that the report refers to as the "Four Pillars". These "Four Pillars" are framed by two fundamental principles: that public safety is paramount and that community confidence is essential. The "Four Pillars" are 1) intervene early, 2) keep children out of court, 3) keep children out of custody and 4) reduce reoffending. In total there are 77 recommendations, including a recommendation that legislation be reviewed to increase the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12 years of age. Other recommendations include that the Government consider extending drug diversion to drugs other than cannabis for minor drug offences committed by children, and that a range of evidence based treatment options for children in the youth justice system with substance use issues be considered. A "Key Agency Group" and "Regional Cross-Agency Coordination" with capacity to lead a whole of Government Youth Justice strategy is also recommended.

Download the "Report on Youth Justice" here (909KB PDF)