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More Severe Punishments Introduced

The Queensland government will take the unprecedented step of overriding human rights laws to rush through harsher youth justice measures it admits will imprison more children, despite less-restrictive options being available.

These tough new laws are aimed at targeting serious repeat offenders and include: 

  • the introduction of breach of bail for young offenders 
  • extending the maximum period of conditional release orders to 6 months and repeat offenders will serve their suspended term in detention if a condition is breached
  • expanding the number of offences with a presumption against bail
  • clarifying that police do not need to consider alternatives to arrest if a young person contravenes or is likely to contravene a bail condition
  • Requiring offences of unlawful use of a motor vehicle with circumstances of aggravation of violence or threatened violence to be heard by a District Court Judge

Public pressure to pursue tougher measures has the government arguing that they are putting community safety first and that the new measures are needed. According to Human Rights Commissioner, Scott McDougall, “The measures introduced are predicated on a flawed perception that recidivist children will respond positively to punitive measures. Such measures do not work to reduce crime and therefore do not protect the rights of victims.”