Brisbane barrister Damien Atkinson comments in the Brisbane Times (26.7.16) on some of the implications for Queensland’s youth justice system, in the wake of the damning Four Corners investigation into the abuse of minors held in youth detention centres in the Northern Territory.
‘There has been plenty of talk in the media this week about the mistreatment of young offenders in the Northern Territory.
‘But we don’t need to look further than our own backyard for a glaring inequity in youth justice. Queensland is the only state that sends school-aged children to adult prisons.
‘In every other state, children will usually come within the adult criminal justice system only when they turn 18.
‘In Queensland, as soon as young people turn 17, our laws ensure that they are almost always dealt with by adult courts and adult prisons.’