Queensland to jail juveniles


Queensland to jail juveniles

By Brian Reeves

BRISBANE — The Goss Labor government is drafting new legislation to increase the punishment which young offenders will face.

The new legislation will include jail sentences for juveniles. Presently those convicted under the age of 17 years can only be placed under the care of the Family Services Department. The new act would allow imprisonment in special juvenile detention centres.

New good-behaviour orders would enable harsher penalties to be awarded to repeat offenders.

Families may also be liable to pay for children's criminal acts in cases such as vandalism and arson.

Convicted juveniles may be required to work for extended community service orders.

While Goss and family services minister Anne Warner claim that the new legislation will be effective, it is unlikely to succeed without addressing the causes of juvenile crime. This would require taking action to curtail unemployment and poverty.

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