Youth justice funding and programs

This article first appeared in the June 2019 edition of Proctor.

A considerable amount of funding – $320 million – has been earmarked to expand existing detention centres and properly staff them.

However, $230 million has been committed to programs and resourcing to better support services and access to justice initiatives, including the funding of a new specialist Childrens Court magistrate.

QLS has publicly praised the State Government for investing in a raft of much-needed juvenile justice reform, but Society President Bill Potts says more funding is needed.

Child Safety, Youth and Women Minister Di Farmer said in April the State Government was focused on the reduction of offence rates and prevention of juveniles ever being placed in detention.

“We can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result – we need to invest in programs and initiatives which work,’’ Ms Farmer said.

“For example…our Transition 2 Success program, which helps young people into the workforce or back to school, and…(many) restorative justice programs (reduce youth crime).

“There is good evidence to show that these programs work to prevent re-offending.

“Of the young people who go through Transition 2 Success programs or Restorative Justice conferencing, almost six out of 10 don’t go on to reoffend.”

Other initiatives to be funded during the reform process include:

  • community youth responses to crime hotspots in three locations: Brisbane, Ipswich and Cairns
  • enhanced youth and family wellbeing in partnership with Indigenous Family Wellbeing Services
  • a transitional hub to divert young people from police custody in Mount Isa
  • community-based supervision by Queensland Police for high-risk young people on bail in South-East Queensland
  • eight specialist multi-agency response teams
  • extension of funding for an additional Specialist Children’s Court magistrate
  • a Queensland Youth Partnership initiative with the retail sector to divert young people from crime
  • continuing the Townsville Community Response including the High-Risk Youth Court, After Hours Youth Diversion Services and Cultural Mentoring.
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