Bail programs a lifeline for young Queensland offenders
A PRIORITISED focus on employment and education opportunities may help young Bundaberg criminals from reoffending, a law expert says.
CQUniversity law lecturer Lance Rundle yesterday said bail support programs were crucial to keeping kids out of detention centres.
Mr Rundle said bail support programs offered minors the opportunity to complete their education through alternative programs, accommodation, counselling sessions and meeting bail requirements.
"From a policy perspective ... the Queensland Government needs to continue to fund youth justice programs that identify the cause of reoffending with the aim to prevent reoffending through education and employment," he said.
"The purpose of a bail program is to give youth offenders a structured program. So they are going to school or counselling, or having assistance to find employment and that works through the local youth justice department."
His comments come as the NewsMail this week reported four Bundaberg youths were costing taxpayers almost $6000 a day to remain remanded in detention centres.
On Thursday, youth justice expert Stan Winford said the cost to detain youths did not weigh up and support programs should be prioritised.
Minister for Child Safety Di Farmer previously announced an additional bail support funding of $280,000 for Bundaberg, to help young offenders meet bail conditions.
Mr Rundle said the programs were a way to keep kids safe - and soften the blow to taxpayers' pockets.
"It is absolutely safer for them to be in a youth justice support program than in a detention centre," he said.
"If you can get them into the bail program initially, there is less bad influences."
See Saturday's NewsMail for Ms Farmer's response.