Queensland Greens MP Michael Berkman has spoken out in support of Amnesty International’s Raise the Age: Kids Belong in Community report released today as Reconciliation Week begins.
Michael Berkman MP:
“While the Queensland Government talks the talk during Reconciliation Week, they’re locking up more Indigenous kids aged 10-14 than any other state in Australia.
“It makes me sick that someone as young as my 10 year old son could be charged with criminal offences, brought before court, and face jail.
“But that’s exactly what’s happened to more than 8,300 kids - mostly and disproportionately Indigenous kids - in a single year, with the vast majority for non-violent crimes like shoplifting.
“I’m supporting the recommendations in today’s Amnesty International report, and calling on the Qld Government once again to raise the age of criminal responsibility to at least 14, scrap its plans for new youth prisons, and redirect funds to therapeutic and culturally-appropriate support.
“If the Government responds to this report by palming it off to COAG - like they’ve done to me before - it’ll be a slap in the face for Indigenous communities right as Reconciliation Week begins.”