Minister's backing bail for young offenders
MINISTER for Child Safety Di Farmer is backing intervention and bail support for Bundaberg's kids in an effort to keep young offenders out of detention.
This support follows a Palaszczuk Government announcement for a $17 million funding injection into the state to provide additional bail support for young offenders.
The funding includes $280,000 specifically for Bundaberg's young people to meet court and bail obligations, find accommodation and continue their education.
The NewsMail put questions to Ms Farmer about how the funding and bail support will help keep kids out of detention centres.
"The funding will be targeted to reduce the number of young people being held on remand,” Ms Farmer said.
"This is about doing everything we can to break the cycle of youth offending.”
Last week the NewsMail reported four local youths on remand in a detention centre were costing taxpayers $6000 a day.
Ms Farmer said providing funding to local youth justice services was a priority.
"There are currently no funded community services specifically focused on young people who could be bailed if they had access to appropriate living arrangements and support services,” Ms Farmer said.
"This is why bail support is so important in the Bundaberg area.
"We will consult with stakeholders to identify opportunities to engage a range of existing service providers in meeting the needs of young people facing being held on remand as the need arises.”
A report by former police commissioner Bob Atkinson made 77 recommendations to improve youth justice matters.
Recommendations included early intervention, reduce re-offending and keeping children out of court and custody.
Mr Atkinson's report suggested the "Government adopt a goal of reducing by half the number of children entering detention for the first time (516 in 2016-2017) by 2019-2020.”