Queensland’s Supervised Community Accommodation service (SCA) will conclude at the end of January following the completion of a final independent review.
Minister for Children and Youth Justice Leanne Linard said SCAs were introduced in 2017 as an accommodation option for young people on bail in the Youth Justice system.
“Ernst and Young’s final independent evaluation found SCAs are doing their job of providing appropriate services and reducing offences by residents, but are underutilised and alternative options are more cost effective,” she said.
“After considering the report, we’ve decided to close the SCAs because we are committed to acting on the evidence.”
There are two SCA houses in Townsville and one each at Carbrook and Logan in South East Queensland.
“We will be working with SCA teams, young people staying at a SCA and other agencies to transition to alternative accommodation and, most importantly, provide support,” Ms Linard said.
“Since the SCAs came online, the government has launched or expanded other programs, including co-responder, Transition to Success, Project Lighthouse and StreetCred.
“Coupled with intensive case management, they are having a significant impact.
“The Palaszczuk Government’s investment of more than half-a-billion dollars in new detention beds and early intervention programs to reduce youth crime is getting results with a significant drop in the number of young offenders in Queensland.”
In the 12 months to June this year, there has been a 23 per cent fall in the number of 10 to 17-year-olds with a charged offence in Queensland.
Ms Linard said community safety continued to be paramount and where young people were an unacceptable risk to that safety or had been found guilty of serious offences, the courts could place them in detention.
“The Palaszczuk Government has invested more than $550 million in evidence-based programs and youth detention centre beds to reduce youth crime and stop reoffending,” she said.
The Ernst and Young report can be found here.