Young offenders give back to Townsville community

Young offenders have performed almost 4,000 hours of community service in Townsville, as well as the Burdekin, Palm Island, Ingham and Charters Towers during 2018–19.

Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said the work was organised by local Department of Youth Justice staff to ensure young offenders were giving back in a practical and meaningful way to the community.

“Over the past 12 months, young people have performed plenty of work from removing graffiti and rubbish to helping maintain junior sporting facilities and public parks and gardens, as well as assisting non-for-profit groups with flood recovery,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“One great example is the work that’s been done at the Townsville Pony Club, where teens helped mow and trim large amounts of overgrown grass after the February floods.

“The club was so pleased with their work that they asked for the partnership to continue.

“Major General Stuart Smith was really clear in his report that addressing youth offending needs the community to also get around these kids, and provide them with opportunities to contribute constructively, so the pony club’s ongoing support is very welcome.

“It’s a win-win.”

Minister for Youth Justice Di Farmer said community service arrangements are also being enhanced through an initiative of the Queensland Government’s multi-agency Townsville Stronger Communities Action Group.

“The young people have done things like cleaning up residential yards by mowing lawns and removing unwanted items to the kerb for the local council’s hard waste collection,” she said.

“Community service work is an important tool to hold young people to account.

“It sends the message to young offenders that there are consequences for their crimes, and also makes sure they can contribute in some way toward repairing the harm they’ve caused to the wider community.”

Young people undertaking community service are supervised at all times by Department of Youth Justice staff.

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