Late last week, PeakCare released a summary of the media reports about responses to ‘Stop Youth Crime – Get Smarter Not Tougher’, an open letter to the Queensland Parliament published as an advertorial by the Courier Mail on 28th January and the strongly attended press conference held on the following Wednesday. This included links to News items broadcast by Channel 7, Channel 9, ABC, NITV and Sky News. Since then, many more media reports have been published or broadcast with the promise of more to come. The following lists some of the more recent articles and interviews that demand attention. It is noted that some, but not all, of those listed may require you to hold a subscription to read the article.
Super juvie agency to fix crisis
Today, Queenslanders woke to read this Courier Mail article authored by Thomas Chamberlain featuring Human Rights Commissioner Scott McDougall expressing his concerns that, “We are resorting to quick-fix political solutions which might sound good but will actually have no bearing at all on addressing the issue of children’s needs or I must say in protecting the rights of victims whose community safety is not improved through draconian methods.” Mr McDougall calls for the creation of a powerful super agency “with serious clout” to better coordinate and direct the resources of the big agencies such as health and education, and to “break down the silos”. You can fully expect to hear and read much more media coverage about the Commissioner’s statements.
One simple thing to tackle youth crime (and five harder things), according to those who should know
Insightful and incisive analysis is provided in this ABC News on-line article by Matt Wordsworth published on 4th February . The article includes commentary provided by Matilda Alexander (Queensland Advocacy for Inclusion), Lindsay Wegener (PeakCare Queensland), Ian Leavers (President of the Police Union) and Keith Hamburger (former director-general of corrective services). The analysis concludes with a very powerful statement that MUST BE READ.
ABC’s Rebecca Livingston interview of PeakCare’s Lindsay Wegener
Click on the link and listen to Lindsay Wegener being interviewed by Rebecca Livingston on ABC Mornings. Listen for the comments made about the “dark side” of the youth justice debates.
ABC Drive’s Adam Stephen’s interviews of PeakCare’s Lindsay Wegener and Opposition Leader David Crisafulli
Click on ABC Drive interview, scroll to 2:08:11 and listen to Adam Stephen’s interview of PeakCare’s Lindsay Wegener immediately followed by his interview of Opposition Leader David Crisafulli. Listen to what Mr Crisafulli had to say about the matters discussed by Lindsay in his interview.
Child safety advocates urge state government to ‘get smarter, not tougher’ on youth crime
This article authored by Shaye Windsor was published by the Courier Mail, Daily Telegraph, Toowoomba Chronicle and Adelaide Advertiser. Key themes examined in the article include “This is about being smart” and “Government urged to rebuke threats towards kids in care”. The article features commentary by Katherine Hayes (Youth Advocacy Centre), Lindsay Wegener (PeakCare), Debbie Kilroy, Rubie Wharton and Neta-Rie Mabo (Sisters Inside) and Tom McIntyre (ACT for Kids).
‘Storm the house’: Queensland care home receives threats after being wrongly identified as halfway house
This article authored by The Guardian’s Ben Smee graphically reports on threats having been made to the safety of children in care posted on social media. It reinforces the call made within our open letter to the Queensland Parliament for Government intervention to “ban social media outlets from posting both children’s illegal exploits AND ‘hate messages’ from vigilante groups – BOTH are inciting children to commit offences”. The article features commentary by Luke Twyford (Queensland Family and Child Commission) and Lindsay Wegener (PeakCare).
Head of Queensland police taskforce says ‘keeping children in detention’ not the solution
This article authored by The Guardian’s Eden Gillespie reports on statements made by George Marchesini, the head of a newly established Queensland Taskforce into Youth Crime that “keeping children in detention is not the end solution” and that the Task Force will “focus on preventing youth crime and work to address underlying complex factors”. The article features commentary by Lindsay Wegener (PeakCare), Katherine Hayes (Youth Advocacy Centre), Professor Tamara Walsh (University of Queensland’s school of law) and Debbie Kilroy (Sisters Inside).
Former Queensland corrections boss Keith Hamburger says ‘urgent’ change needed to fight youth crime
This ABC on-line article by Sarah Richards and Kate McKenna incorporates commentary by Keith Hamburger (former director-general of corrective services) – “It is just because of this stupid law-and-order debate that goes on, politicians arguing over how tough we can be instead of looking at all the evidence-based solutions”. Additional commentary is provided by Katherine Hayes (Youth Advocacy Centre), Deputy Premier Stephen Miles and Acting Assistant Commissioner George Marchesini, Commander of the newly established Youth Crime Task Force.
Qld car thefts soar to record high as youth crime debate putters along
This Australian Associated Press article by Nick Gibbs features commentary by Opposition Leader David Crisafulli, newly appointed head of the new Youth Crime Taskforce, Acting Assistant Commissioner George Marchesini and PeakCare’s Lindsay Wegener.
Palaszczuk urged to overhaul youth justice
In this article authored by the Australian’s Lydia Lynch and Fia Walsh, Australia’s longest serving Aboriginal affairs minister Robert Tickner is reported as saying that “the Palaszczuk government must overhaul its approach to youth justice to achieve any meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous people”. Mr Tickner now serves as chairman of the Justice Reform Initiative.
Call to crack down on teens splashing crimes on social media
In this Weekend Australian article by Lydia Lynch, actions being taken by Liberal National MP Garth Hamilton to draft a private member’s bill (Federal) to strengthen the eSafety Commission’s powers to target social media providers posting material “promoting, instructing or inciting in matters of crime or violence”. This has relevance to calls made within the open letter to the Queensland Parliament to “ban social media outlets from posting both children’s illegal exploits AND ‘hate messages’ from vigilante groups”. The article features commentary by PeakCare’s Lindsay Wegener.
Youth advocates advertise for smarter, not tougher, youth justice
In this article by Tony Keim published by the Proctor magazine, reference is made to “a collective of respected community groups and leaders who resorted to a full-page weekend newspaper advertisement to communicate their ‘get smarter – not tougher’ solutions to Queensland’s so-called youth justice crisis”. Reference is also made to PeakCare’s recently published blog, The Choice which is frequently quoted throughout the article. Proctor is the magazine of the Queensland profession published by the Queensland Law Society.
Congratulations to CQID’s Jason Field
PeakCare commends Central Queensland Indigenous Development’s CEO, Wiradjuri man, Jason Field for promoting the messages of ‘get smarter, not tougher’ during the many radio interviews broadcast by ABC Western Queensland, North West Queensland, Far North and Tropical North Queensland. In these interviews, Jason has consistently called for the Queensland Government to “stop incarcerating children”. In arguing that children need more clinical support, Jason has stated, ”We have a lot of issues with children committing suicide and if we can get these assessments done and we can actually address those underlying issues, we can actually save lives and ensure that all children have the same opportunity as everyone else”.
New ‘Get Smarter, Not Tougher’ web-page
Since publication of the ‘Youth Crime – Get Smarter Not Tougher’ open letter to the Queensland Parliament, PeakCare has received many emails from people expressing regret that they missed the opportunity to add their logos and/or names as signatories to the letter. PeakCare will soon be creating a new web-page so that these logos and names can continue to be added. Details of the new web-page will be released shortly.