The Queensland Government will fund almost $17 million over three years to help reduce the number of children and young people on remand and make sure young people on bail meet their court-imposed conditions.
Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women Di Farmer said “We want fewer young people offending and fewer in detention, but we also know that young offenders need to be held accountable for their actions.”
“This additional support will help young people to meet and comply with bail conditions and help to break the cycle of offending.
“We want to reduce the number of children and young people offending and reoffending and that’s why we are investing almost $17 million across the state.
“This funding will help create safer communities by better engaging children and young people in areas of Queensland where there is demand for support.”
The additional bail support will provide activities for young people to address the behaviours and lifestyles getting them into trouble, to assist them with meeting bail requirements, and help them comply with the conditions of their bail.
Youth Justice will work with the community and other services over the next couple of months on how best to deliver the extra services. The new services will commence early in 2019.
Ms Farmer said Bob Atkinson’s recent report into youth justice demonstrated that many children who offend for the first time will never re-offend, and that re-offending can be reduced with effective community-based interventions.
“That’s why it is vital that we offer bail support services for youth offenders. This will help the whole community to be safer,” she said.
Ms Farmer said too many children were remanded in custody for want of a safe home or supervision by their families. “We want to change that,” she said.
“The evidence shows that bail support works best when the young person participates voluntarily, is engaged immediately along with their families, and is supported with services to meet their individual needs such as education, housing, substance abuse and mental health.
The Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women works with agencies, families, schools, police and key community stakeholders to engage young people to address the underlying causes and consequences of their offending.
This allows for targeted responses for each young person and to support families who need assistance with a goal to engage young people with education, training and employment opportunities.