Youth Justice

Youth Justice

Read the full policy about a just and effective preventative and criminal justice system to protect children and youth in the community.

(Adopted October 2014) 

Principles

The Queensland Greens believe that:

1. All individuals have a right to a safe, peaceful existence, free from crime and fear of violence.

2. A just and effective criminal justice system protects the community, reduces the social impacts of crime, addresses the causes of crime, protects the human rights of victims, suspects and perpetrators and offers a range of interventions in addition to loss of liberty

3. The government must deliver a full range of services to prevent the over-representation in the criminal justice system of people with intellectual disabilities, mental illnesses and substance addiction.

4. A reduction in the use of custodial interventions for remand and sentencing will release public funds that should be directed to the prevention of crime and the resolution of underlying social problems that give rise to criminal behaviour.

5. Addressing the over-representation of Aboriginal, and Torres Strait Islander people in the criminal justice system in Queensland is essential.

Aims

The Queensland Greens will:

Youth Justice

1.  Raise the age of criminal responsibility to 14 years

2. Ensure that there is better compliance with the Young Offenders (Interstate Transfer) Act 1987 / Juvenile Justice Act 1992 (which has a commitment to diverting young people away from the criminal justice system).

3. Adopt child protection and other social measures to address the over-representation of Indigenous Queenslanders in the child protection system as outlined in the Indigenous Queenslanders Policy.

4. Fund community-based programs that identify young people at risk of committing crime and provide counselling and support to them.

5. Support bail or community-based supervision regimes for young people charged with all but the most serious of offences.

6. Amend the Bail Act to ensure that police must first consider alternatives to arrest in relation to failures to comply with bail.

7. Amend the Bail Act to reduce the amount of time young people are kept in custody including following minor breaches of bail.

8. Fund a residential bail support program to assist homeless young people in meeting their bail conditions.

9. Support sentencing policies and programs that divert young people convicted of crimes away from detention.

10. Ensure that young people are detained in youth facilities and can only be moved to an adult setting in special circumstances, subject to the state convincing the Court that the transfer is appropriate and safe.

11. Support the implementation of effective rehabilitation programs for all young people convicted of a criminal offence.

12. Support community conferencing for young offenders and their victims.

13. Increase community-based, educational and vocational programs for young detainees with the aim of reducing recidivism and providing opportunities upon release.

14. Reduce the use of Youth Conduct Orders and anti-social behaviour orders in favour of providing more early intervention through community based programs.

15. Support wiping the records of young people convicted of offences where the sentence imposed was less than 6 months in detention, where no further offences are committed within 3 years.

16. Support adequate initial and ongoing training for employees at youth justice centres with additional training in dealing with violence and provide adequate protection for employees from violent attacks from young prisoners.