A Scenic Rim resident has complained that $17 million spent by the state government on bail support for young people on remand would be better spent on rehabilitation. Rosemary Lawson-Quinn said she was astonished that money was being spent in such a way.
Child Safety Minister Di Farmer said the funding would make sure young people who were on bail met court-imposed conditions. “This funding will be spent over the coming three years and is vital in supporting young people who are charged or at risk of being charged with an offence,” she said. A spokesman for Ms Farmer said three young people were in detention, with a further nine on youth justice orders or remand.
The Queensland Law Society backed the bail support, with president Ken Taylor saying any steps to reduce the number of children and young people on remand or address reoffending was to be applauded. Mr Taylor said the dilemma was deciding between leaving children in adult facilities for extended periods to their detriment or endangering the community by releasing dangerous offenders out on bail too early. “In many ways rates of juveniles offending tell us that parts of our community are broken and need to be fixed,” he said. “The solution is not then simply a justice solution, a child safety solution, a community programs solution, a policing solution, a corrective services solution or an education solution. “It is in fact all of these arms of government working together in a coordinated and sustained way to address the underlying problem.”
Beaudesert solicitor Carolyn Buchan agreed. “Although it is not clear specifically what areas the $17 million of funding is intended to target, it is always a great step forward when there is an increase in funding focused for access to justice and youth services,” she said. “Any improvements to youth services, particularly Child Safety Services, will ultimately improve all levels of society.”
Ms Farmer said young offenders needed to be held accountable for their actions but the goal was to see fewer in detention. “More than 80 per cent of young people in detention are on remand and many of them are only in detention because they do not have safe and secure homes to go to. “We know that if you put a young person in detention it almost guarantees they will offend again. We can’t keep doing what has been done for decades and expect the results to be different. “Additional support will be added to help young people comply with bail conditions and break the cycle of offending, which will keep the whole community safer,” she said.
Queensland Law Society – The Beaudesert Times 24 August 2018