State KAP Leader and member for Traeger Robbie Katter says figures from a recent government report regarding youth offenders emphasises the need for an alternative to the current system.
“The KAP has lobbied for our Youth Relocation Sentencing policy to be instituted by the government for a several years,’’ Mr Katter said.
“People believe we have reached the end of the road with current Government policies that deal with youth crime. The government’s own report recommends a new approach is needed to tackle youth crime.’’
The Federal Government’s Australia-wide ‘Young people returning to sentenced youth justice supervision 2016/17’ report found eight out of 10 young people (82 per cent) who were released from sentenced detention in 2015/16 returned to sentenced supervision within twelve months, with 59 per cent returning within six months.
It also found those who were released from a community-based supervision sentence, 50 per cent returned to sentenced supervision within a year, with 26 per cent returning within six months.
Of all young people aged 10-17 who were under sentenced youth justice supervision at some stage from 2000/01-2016/17, 39 per cent returned to supervised sentencing before they turned 18.
In Queensland the rate of return to sentenced supervision within a year of being released from community-based supervision or detention was over 50 per cent.
“The KAP’s Youth Relocation Sentencing Policy offers judges dealing with these kids a badly needed third alternative, at the moment all they can do is lock them up or put them out on bail,’’ he said.
“Our communities have a right to feel safe in their towns and they have run out of patience with these kids.
“I have spoken to a lot of people about this issue and they are supportive of introducing a new strategy.
“Now is the time to institute the KAP Youth Relocation Sentencing policy. It will immediately take these kids out of the communities, away from the pressures and influences they are under and give them a chance to learn some life skills.
“Their mates won’t be able to just jump in a car and go and visit them because they offenders will be put to work in a remote location and there will be no point running away because they will be miles away from another town.
“We know our detention centres are overcrowded and with the plans to take 17-year-olds out of adult prisons and put them into detention centres, now is the time for a new and innovative approach to deal with youth crime in our communities.’’