As of this morning, 17 July 2019, there were zero children held on remand in the Brisbane City Watch House.
Youth Justice Minister Di Farmer said this achievement served to demonstrate the critical importance of continuing to implement measures to reduce youth offending and keep children out of custody.
“This is a problem that is being solved,” she said.
“We don’t want to see any young people being remanded in watch houses.
“The best way to keep kids out of remand is to reduce offending and reoffending rates, and that’s a solution which will take time.
“It will also require sustained focus and continued effort.
“That is why a new standalone Department of Youth Justice was created in May, to give that unwavering focus to delivering more than $332 million in youth justice initiatives, and I can say that our approach is delivering results.
“While this is a great result today, we’re in this for the long haul – we have been chipping away at this issue, and we’re not there yet.
“What the Palaszczuk Labor Government has done is taken Youth Justice reform out of the ‘too hard’ basket, and we will continue to focus on this issue for as long as it takes.”
Director General of the Department of Youth Justice Bob Gee welcomed the news, and said his department would continue to work to reduce offending rates.
“We know crime reduction is a generational issue, and we have a medium to long term plan to deal with the issue,” he said.
“However, I’m glad to see we are achieving results ahead of schedule.”
Ongoing initiatives to reduce youth offending, keep children out of custody, and expand youth detention capacity include:
- $27 million over two years to construct 16 new beds at Brisbane Youth Detention Centre plus $14.2 million over four years for its operation
- $150 million over two years to construct and run a new 32 bed youth detention centre at Wacol
- $27.5 million over four years to enhance restorative practice including Restorative Justice Conferencing and Family Group Meetings.
- $28.7 million over four years to expand on the successful Transition to Success (T2S) program and support trouble young people reconnect with education, training, employment and life skills.
- $29.3 million over four years to support Community Youth Response crime hotspots in Townsville and establish three new locations in Brisbane, Ipswich and Cairns.
- $2.5 million over two years to continue existing conditional bail programs and support Queensland Police Service provide community-based supervision for high-risk youths on bail in South East Queensland.
- $2.7 million over four years to support multi-agency response teams for court and support more magistrates and efficiencies in the court system.
- $800,000 to establish a hub in Mount Isa delivering after hours diversionary services to high risk young people.