Greens candidate slams LNP's 'tough' stance on youth crime

THE Queensland Greens have attacked an LNP youth justice proposal as "silly" and a "breach of its international human rights obligations".

The Queensland Government's "blueprint" for the future of youth justice includes proposed reforms such as allowing juvenile criminal histories to be admissible in adult courts, giving courts a full picture of their offending.

The law, as it stands, means adult courts only see juvenile histories if a conviction is recorded, something often avoided in the interests of rehabilitation and future job prospects.

The proposal also includes automatically transferring juveniles to adult correctional centres when they turn 18 and removing the detention "as a last resort" principal from the sentencing process for youths.

Queensland Greens Senate candidate Adam Stone - who has a masters degree in international law and has worked in Queensland's youth justice system - said he believed removing the sentencing principal making detention a last resort was "in clear violation" of Article 37(b) of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

"If enacted, this proposal would take the LNP's 'tough on crime' grandstanding beyond the realms of silly policy into a violation of international law," he said.

"When children commit offences, we should be working toward their rehabilitation to ensure they can grow into valued, contributing members of our community, not disposing of them in prisons."

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie - who has just announced three new boot camps in Rockhampton, Townsville and the Fraser Coast - said these possible reforms follow other options on the table to make it easier to publish the names of juvenile offenders and making bail breaching an offence for juveniles.

"This paper and survey will give people an opportunity to have their say on youth justice reform," he said.

"What has been done in the past 20 years has not worked and we now have a generation of repeat offenders who are entrenched in our youth justice system."

The paper and survey is available at www.justice.qld.gov.au until June 30 this year.



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