Youth Justice Strategy

The Working Together Changing the Story: Youth Justice Strategy 2019-23 (PDF, 1.2 MB) Working Together Changing the Story: Youth Justice Strategy 2019-23 (DOCX, 94 KB) (the Strategy) provides a framework that will strengthen the prevention, early intervention and rehabilitation responses to youth crime in Queensland.

The Strategy is evidence-based and forms the foundation for how government, business and communities will work together over the next 5 years to change the story for children and young people and keep communities safe.

Our reform program to prevent and respond to youth crime is underpinned by 4 key pillars:

Intervene early

Children and young people in vulnerable families have their health, education, safety and wellbeing needs met.

Preventing youth crime begins with supporting vulnerable families so that children are born healthy and are well cared for. This requires government, non-government and community working together to deliver the priority actions.

Priority actions:

  • Babies are born healthy and immunised
  • Children and young people are screened for health issues including hearing and eyesight, and developmental delays
  • Parents have access to parenting information and family, community and peer support
  • Children are engaged in early years programs and are ready for school
  • Families access support services to reduce the risk of abuse, neglect or violence
  • Families access specialist and clinical services to address health, developmental delays, impairments and problem behaviours
  • School-aged children and young people are supported to stay engaged in schooling
  • Families are engaged in community, sport, recreation and cultural activities.

Keep children out of court

Children and young people with early or low-level offending are engaged in education and training, and are supported to address their behaviours.

Most young people who offend for the first time will not re-offend if they are provided with support and are diverted away from court.

Priority actions:

  • Parents and young people are engaged to address anti-social and illegal behaviours
  • Young people’s offending is dealt with swiftly and according to their age and developmental stage
  • Families are connected to community, sport, recreation and cultural activities
  • Young people at risk of dropping out from school are re-engaged through a multi-agency response
  • Young people with early or low-level offending are actively diverted by police with warnings and referrals
  • Young people on bail are supported to avoid re-offending or breaching bail
  • Victims of youth crime are provided with the support they need to recover
  • Drug diversion programs are offered for minor drug offences.

Keep children out of custody

Children and young people who have offended have a safe place to live and are supported to address behaviours and reconnect with family and community.

Young people who do not need to be on remand are kept out of custody before, and following an appearance in court.

Priority actions:

  • Young people who have caused harm are held accountable and make amends
  • Victims of youth crime are provided with the support they need to recover
  • Young people without a safe place to live are assisted with alternative housing
  • Criminal justice responses align with the young person’s age, culture and developmental stage
  • Community leaders, businesses and other partners will be engaged to support young people to prevent youth offending.

Reduce re-offending

Children and young people who are repeat offenders receive responses, punishments and support to reduce the likelihood of future offending.

Young people access programs to address their offending and personal circumstances, and are supported to transition back into the community as law-abiding citizens.

Priority actions:

  • Young people will receive age, gender and culturally appropriate interventions to help them change their behaviour
  • Young people who are repeat offenders or who commit serious offences will receive intensive support
  • Young people are engaged in education, training and employment
  • Young people receive support and supervision to live in safe and stable accommodation
  • Young people leaving care or supervision are supported to transition successfully to adulthood.