Youth justice amendment committee recommendation contracts own report findings  

[supplied by Amnesty Australia]

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Image: supplied

Amnesty International Australia expressed disappointment that the Committee charged with investigating the proposed youth justice amendments in Queensland has recommended the amendments pass, despite its own report being full of evidence that they will do nothing to address youth crime.

The youth justice amendments seek to take a punitive approach to young children who often have complex needs the justice system is ill equipped to address, and which ultimately condemn these kids to life in the quagmire of the criminal justice system.

Amnesty International Australia Indigenous Rights Campaigner Maggie Munn (pictured) gave evidence at the committee hearings.

“It’s unacceptable that in the same week we’re commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, the Queensland government is attempting to repeat the same historical mistakes which lead to the gross overrepresentation of our people in Australian jails,” Munn said.

“Children who commit crimes need to be held accountable, but they also need support. They’re not behaving like this just for the fun of it. Something in their lives is going on, and that something needs to be addressed. 

 

“Premier Palaszczuk is telling us that prison will ‘fix’ the so-called youth crime crisis, and her ‘solution’ is to pass new laws that will send a record number of children to be behind bars. 

 

“Youth crime rates in Queensland are on a downward trend. Secondly, The reasons why children commit crimes will never be addressed in prisons. All of the evidence points to prison increasing the likelihood of children becoming long-term, serious re-offenders. Indigenous and community-led programs that address the underlying causes of crime need to be invested in.”  

“The committee’s own report is full of evidence from the community and experts that the bill will not achieve its stated objectives.” 

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