Bail house ‘experiment’ a waste of taxpayer money
MORE than three-quarters of young crims who spent time in a controversial bail house reoffended, with some kids even committing nine offences after being released.
Extraordinary reports released by the State Government have revealed issues with the houses in Townsville, Logan and Carbrook, including young offenders not following house rules.
Child Safety, Youth and Women Minister Di Farmer conceded some changes were needed to get the best value and said the program may even be scrapped if it's found to not be working in a year's time.
Griffith University's independent report found of the 95 offenders who stayed in the facilities between December 2017 to March 31 this year, 80 had committed at least one offence after leaving.
It also found the level of recidivism for at least half of the young crims was nine offences per person.
However the report found a reliable evaluation on recidivism was not possible at this time because there wasn't a "sufficient number of cases".
LNP attorney-general spokesman David Janetzki slammed the revelations claiming the houses were an "experiment" that was wasting $70 million of taxpayers' money.
"These two reviews have no real cost benefit analysis and reoffending rates are through the roof," he said.
"They are a complete waste of time and money and aren't helping young offenders get their lives back on track."
There are two houses in Townsville which opened in December 2017 and January 2018.
Carbook's opened in March 2018 while Logan's opened in April 2018.
They have been subject to scrutiny, with the LNP vowing to scrap them should the party be elected.
Griffith's report noted several aspects were working well, including the mental health services provided to youths.
However it found there was a lack of clarity around the program's goals and data collected by the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women's Integrated Client Management System was not well-suited to evaluating the houses.
Drug use was also found to be impacting the facilities' effectiveness.
The Ernst and Young report found it was too early in the program to accurately assess the real benefits.
EY also found contracts for service provisions were put out at short notice with "little competitive tension".
Ms Farmer said the community wanted young people to be held accountable and didn't want to see reoffending.
"There are many positive stories of young people turning their lives around, reconnecting with family, and importantly, not reoffending as a result of the support provided while living in an SCA (Supervised Community Accommodation)," she said.
"We'll implement the changes recommended in the reports, and give SCAs one more year."