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Catch up on the latest in response to PeakCare’s call to Get Smarter, Not Tougher, on Youth Crime

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This is now PeakCare’s third summary of media reports that have been published or broadcast since the open letter to the Queensland Parliament – ‘Stop Youth Crime – Get Smarter No Tougher’ – appeared in the Courier Mail on 28th January. The first summary was released on 2nd February and the second summary on 6th February.

The following list of media reports published or broadcast since 6th February suggests that youth justice will remain a hot topic for some time to come. It is noted that some, but not all, of the listed articles may require you to hold a subscription to read it in full.

 

Channel 7 News 6th February 2023

Click on this edition of Channel 7 News to hear Human Rights Commissioner Scott McDougall interviewed. The coverage also includes commentary from Premier Palaszczuk and Opposition Leader David Crisafulli.

 

Channel 10 News 6th February 2023

Click on this edition of Channel 10 News and scroll to 05:30 to hear commentary from Opposition Leader David CrisafulliPremier Palaszczuk, and Human Rights Commissioner Scott McDougall.

 

ABC News 6th February 2023

Click on this edition of ABC News to hear commentary from Human Rights Commissioner Scott McDougallKatherine Hayes (Youth Advocacy Centre) and Premier Palaszczuk.

 

Magistrate grants girl bail amid concern she would join dozens of children held in adult watch houses for weeks

In this article by Eden Gillespie published by The Guardian on 8th February, a report is provided about the decision taken by Mount Isa magistrate Eoin Mac Giolla Ri to grant bail to a 15-year old girl. This was preceded by the magistrate saying that the girl would probably be held for an extended period in a watch house if bail was refused, as all three of the state’s youth detention centres were at capacity. It was reported that the magistrate had previously raised concerns about children being held in “harsh” conditions within adult watchhouses. The article also features commentary by Michelle Ackerman (Youth Off The Streets) and Professor John Rynne, director of youth forensic services at Griffith University.

 

Advocates say children are being held in adult watch houses in Queensland for weeks at a time

In this article by Rachel Riga and Kate McKenna published by ABC News on 7th February, concerns held by advocates and lawyers about young people being detained in adult watch houses for more than a month, “kids sleeping in shower stalls on mats, and children being denied access to fresh air and sunlight” are reported on. The article includes commentary provided by Youth Advocacy Centre’s Katherine Hayes and Human Rights Commissioner Scott McDougall.

 

Watch house scandal exposes deep divisions over how to curb youth crime

In this article by Brad Cooper published by ‘In Queensland’ on 8th February, Queensland Family and Child Commissioner Luke Twyford is reported as having “slammed views” from Police Commissioner Katarina Carrol and backed by Police Minister Mark Ryan that watch house detention for some young offenders might be “the only way” to stop their criminal behaviour. The article also features commentary by Griffith University Professor William Wood.

 

Tougher crime laws ‘make kid crisis worse’

In this edition of The Australian published on 8th February, retired judge Margaret McMurdo who was previously tasked with overhauling Queensland’s sexual and domestic violence laws is reported as calling on the Palaszczuk government to halt the introduction of its youth crime legislation, saying it will make the state’s juvenile justice crisis worse.

 

The Wire 8th February 2023

Click on this edition of The Wire, scroll to 02:41 and listen to reports of a child having been held in a Maroochydore watchhouse for over a month with reference made to concerns about these practices having been raised by Human Rights Commissioner Scott McDougall. The story includes interviews of Katherine Hayes (Youth Advocacy Centre) and Michelle Ackerman (Youth Off The Streets).

 

Townsville magistrate releases 13 youths from custody, police increase patrols

In this ABC on-line news article by Chloe Chomicki and staff published on 10th February, the decision of Townsville magistrate Viviana Keegan to grant bail to 13 young people is reported on, with commentary provided by Deputy Premier Steven Miles, Police Minister Mark Ryan and Queensland Police Service Deputy Commissioner Mark Wheeler. The article also makes reference to “concerns from youth advocates and Queensland Human Rights Commissioner Scott McDougall about the detention of young people in watch houses” with the police acknowledging that there were 88 young people held in watch houses across the State as of the morning of 8th February.

 

Outrage as magistrate throws open call doors for youth detainees – Busted Out

In this article by Shayla Bulloch, Madura McCormack, Caitlin Charles and James Hall published by the Courier Mail and Townsville Bulletin on 11th February, responses by Deputy Premier Steven MilesPolice Minister Mark Ryan and Townsville-based MP Aaron Harper to the decision made by Townsville magistrate Viviana Keegan to grant bail to 13 young people are reported on. The article also reports on reactions to the Government’s response by Queensland Law Society vice-president Rebecca Fogerty, criminal lawyer Bill Potts and Youth Advocacy Centre’s Katherine Hayes. Reference is also made to criticisms of the government made by Human Rights Commissioner Scott McDougall for “resorting to quick-fix political solutions”, and a “major campaign by dozens of organisations calling for authorities to be ‘smarter’ on youth crime”.

 

Youth crime website fail – experts cry foul over absence of talks

In this article by James Hall and Stephanie Bennett published by the Sunday Mail, Cairns Post and Adelaide Now on 12th February, concerns are reported about a lack of consultation with stakeholders about the “creation of sensitive legislation to target youth crime” and the unusual process of inviting feedback via an online form with just five questions “tucked away” on a government website. The article features commentary by Dan Rogers, Queensland Law Society member and legal director at Robertson O’Gorman Solicitors, PeakCare’s Lindsay Wegener and Opposition Leader David Crisafulli.

 

Channel 7 News 12th February 2023

Click on this edition of Channel 7 News to hear Law Society Vice President Rebecca Fogerty and Opposition Leader David Crisafulli’s commentary on youth crime crisis. The coverage also includes commentary from Premier Palaszczuk

 

Opposition Leader coy on LNP plans for key youth detention measure

In this article by Matt Dennien published by the Brisbane Times, The Age and WA Today on 14th February, Opposition Leader David Crisafulli is reported as stating that he refused to “join the chorus of people saying that every young person who made a mistake should have rocks thrown at them”. Mr Crisafulli is also reported as supportive of calls made by his predecessor Deb Frecklington for temporary accommodation and a 72-hour limit on watch house stays for young people. The article includes commentary by Youth Advocacy Centre’s Katherine Hayes and PeakCare’s Lindsay Wegener.

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