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Community Safety

Everyone deserves to feel safe at home, at work, and in their community. Although recent statistics show an overall drop in crime in Queensland, there’s far more we could be doing. 

Politicians from both major parties have turned crime, especially youth offending, into a political football. The focus on point-scoring and rushed legal reforms have overcrowded Queensland’s youth prisons, stripped key rehabilitative elements from the system, and ultimately made things even worse. 

It’s clear the current system isn’t working. Queensland imprisons more children than any other state, increasing rapidly in recent years, but many people report feeling more worried about their safety and security at home. Around 90% of children who spend time in youth detention in Queensland reoffend within a year. 

This is because detention is just a band-aid solution: despite costing around $2,000 per day or $760,000 per year to keep just one child in detention , it’s not rehabilitative, and it doesn’t fix the causes of offending. 

Right now, the vast majority of children who end up in detention have a history of housing insecurity, disengagement from school, disability (often undiagnosed), violence at home, engagement with Child Safety and drug or alcohol misuse. Not only are prisons and watch houses further traumatising vulnerable kids - including children as young as 10 years old under our current laws - but they’ve been shown to exacerbate these very problems, leaving kids more likely to offend, and often more seriously than before. 

The Greens believe we can’t improve community safety with more of the same. We need a new approach. 

The Greens plan for community safety

Instead of continuing Labor and the LNP’s failed policies, we should tax big corporations to fund decent housing, services and early intervention. 

The Greens want to reinvest public funding away from the expensive youth prisons that act as “criminal training grounds”, towards services and infrastructure that actually reduce offending. We want an alternative model that removes at least children under the age of 14 from the criminal legal system, including by raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility. 

Our alternative model for youth justice includes:

  1. Prevention - keeping kids in school, tackling the housing crisis, and giving kids more to do
  2. Early intervention - free disability screening, trauma-informed training, and funding for referral hubs, maternal-child outreach and First Nations-led programs
  3. Diversion and rehabilitation - wrap-around services, community-led programs and public health including more residential rehab services for young people
  4. Support for victims - expanded financial support with reduced waiting times, and a new Victims Liaison Officer position 

You can read more about our plan to address the real causes of offending and stop crime before it happens, instead of wasting billions on prisons and more police, here.