New bail support services are now operating in Cairns and Yarrabah providing support to children and young people in the Youth Justice system.
Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women Di Farmer, who is visiting Cairns today, said the new services were an important part of the overall Youth Justice reforms aimed at reducing reoffending and keeping young people out of detention.
“The services are being operated by Youth Empowered Towards Independence (YETI) in partnership with Gindaja Healing and Treatment Service and the Youth Advocacy Centre,” she said.
“The Cairns and Yarrabah Bail Support Service are supporting young people to comply with their bail conditions and stay out of custody, while keeping the Cairns and Yarrabah communities safer.”
Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the service was supporting young people through legal advocacy, as well as engaging with young people’s families to help them support their children.
“Part of what the service does is helping young people to understand what to expect from the legal process and how it works, as well as making sure they also understand their own responsibilities through the process,” he said.
“It also provides very practical supports such as transport, connecting young people with learning and education support, and help to access stable accommodation.”
Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said the service had been helping young people comply with their bail conditions since it began operating.
“We know that young people who go into detention are much more likely to reoffend, which is why bail support services are so important to help them stay out of custody,” he said.
“I’m pleased to see that since becoming fully operational in March, that it has supported more than 55 people in its first three months.”
Member for Cairns Michael Healy said that the bail support services were only one part of the government’s overall $550 million investment in Youth Justice Reforms across the state.
“This includes $15 million to establish three new Community Youth Responses around Queensland including one in Cairns, further funding for a new Transition 2 Success program in Cairns, Youth Justice Restorative Justice Conferencing and extension of the successful Project Booyah mentoring program,” he said.
“The Cairns community has a right to feel safe, and the best way to keep the community safe is by preventing young people from offending and reoffending in the first place.”
Minister Farmer’s visit to Cairns included visits to a range of organisations providing support to some of the North Queensland region’s most vulnerable families, children and young people including Integrated Family Youth Services, Cape York Remote Area Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Child Care Advisory Association and the Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service (QIFVLS).
“I want to hear firsthand from the dedicated and hardworking staff from these organisations about what is working well, and where we can further assist,” she said.
“Our government is committed to providing support for vulnerable and at risk people in regional Queensland and the work of these organisations with funding from the Queensland Government is essential in helping them to turn their lives around.”