Queensland has ‘toughest youth justice system’

Opposition criticisms of the youth justice system were branded as “scandalous mistruths” today by Queensland Minister for Community Services and Housing Karen Struthers.

Opposition deputy leader Lawrence Springborg said yesterday a youth who committed 19 property offences while on bail for grievous bodily harm would not serve a single day in detention.

“This young criminal and serial violent offender just received two years probation and 50 hours community service,” Mr Springborg said.

“Under Labor’s weak sentencing laws most violent young offenders won’t see the inside of a detention centre.”

But Ms Struthers disputed those comments. “The young man that he said had not seen the inside of a detention centre has in fact spent 98 days in detention and is still there,” she told Parliament.

The Bligh Government had the toughest youth justice system Queensland has ever seen and 60 percent of young offenders only had one contact with the system and will not return, Ms Struthers said.

The Government’s Aggression Replacement Program had had a 100 per cent success rate where the 39 young offenders who completed the program had not reoffended.

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