LNP promises to amend legislation, sentence young offenders to ‘adult time’ for serious crimes if elected

LNP promises to amend legislation, sentence young offenders to ‘adult time’ for serious crimes if elected
  • PublishedJuly 7, 2024

Young Queenslanders would be tried as adults for serious crimes if the LNP wins the October state election.

Queensland Opposition Leader David Crisafulli announced his Making Our Community Safer plan on Sunday, including an “adult crime, adult time” court sentencing policy.

Mr Crisafulli said the policy would apply to offences like murder, manslaughter, serious assault, grievous bodily harm, and the dangerous operation and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

“If you murder someone, that’s an adult crime. If you wound someone … adult crime, adult time,” he told party faithful at the LNP convention in Brisbane.

“If you violate the sanctity of someone’s home — you break in and rob them — well, adult crime.”

The policy follows the government’s commitment to amend the Youth Justice Act to remove “detention as a last resort”.

Head of Youth Advocacy Centre, Katherine Hayes, said crime rates would only reduce once “the root causes of offending” were addressed.

“There are systemic issues such as domestic and family violence, drug use, and homelessness, which cannot be fixed by tougher sentences,” Ms Hayes said.

“Serious repeat offenders aren’t deterred by jail time. Some of them even prefer being in detention because they get meals and a bed.

“Unless they are rehabilitated and have support to engage productively post-release, we will continue to see them offend as soon as they are let out.”

woman on a tree line street looks into camera
Katherine Hayes said tougher punishments won’t fix the state’s youth crime problem.

But Mr Crisafulli argued “the generation of the repeat untouchables must end”.

“This is a strong message but it’s necessary,” he said. 

“There will be some who say these laws are too harsh. To them, I say — just as a lack of consequences cause an increase in reciprocal offending — tough consequences will drive that down.”

Mr Crisafulli also announced the party would unveil a 12-month post-release plan for every child leaving youth detention.

“We can’t just release a young offender into society and just allow them to carry on where they left off,” he said.


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