There’s been swift criticism of The Queensland Government plan to name and shame repeat juvenile offenders as young as 10.
Legal advocacy groups say the move will only increase youth crime.
Saskia Edwards reports.
The Queensland government is cracking down on juvenile offenders.
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie wants to reveal the identities of young people, who commit more than one crime.
And 17-year-olds with more than six months remaining on their sentence will be transferred to adult prison.
As well, courts will be permitted to consider these offenders’ youth record.
Mr Bleijie says child offenders committed 7,000 crimes while on bail in the past year.
And there needs to be harsher consequences.
Jarrod Bleijie, Attorney-General: “This is going to be a wake-up call to these young offenders. Well the community will know.”
But critics say not only does it NOT prevent youth crime, it can actually worsen it, pointing to the Northern Territory, where juveniles are named.
James Farrell, Director Qld Association of Independent Legal Services: “Research from there shows that young people who are named and shamed sometimes use that as a badge of honour.”
And those who’ve been involved in the juvenile justice system say it won’t stop young people offending.
Conrad Radnoty: “They’re going to get named and they’re like going to think they’re the baddest people out and they’re going to stay with the same group and they’re going to get stuck in the cycle.”
Civil libertarians say investing in education, employment and medical services, is a better way to reduce crime.
Debbie Kilroy, CEO Sisters Inside: “We need to support young people not hammer them down to be angry while they’re young. They’re developing, they’re growing, they’re working out their identity and we actually need to support that not smash them into smithereens.”
Only three juvenile offenders, all convicted killers, have been named under the current system. But a survey revealed by Jarrod Bleijie earlier this year showed half of the respondents wanted all juvenile offenders exposed.
The new laws will be introduced into Parliament this year.
Saskia Edwards, QUT News.