Youth Justice Strategy Action Plan 2019-2021

Our Youth Justice Strategy Action Plan 2019-2021 (PDF, 883 KB) Youth Justice Strategy Action Plan 2019-2021 (DOCX, 4.7 MB) sets out the practical steps for the Queensland Government to implement our whole-of-government Youth Justice Strategy (PDF, 1.2 MB) Youth Justice Strategy (DOCX, 94 KB) over the next 2 years.

The actions are diverse. Many agencies and individuals have contributed to them.

The actions in the plan talk about how we will:

  • work differently with communities
  • engage differently with young people in trouble with the law
  • deliver entirely new services and infrastructure.

Our action plan includes:

  • new programs funded from $332.5 million Youth Justice investment
  • actions that build on and extend existing capacity
  • important reforms that are already underway, that will be monitored to make sure they deliver change.

Our action plan addresses the 4 pillars from the Youth Justice Strategy, as well as other significant areas of work that will improve outcomes for young people and the community.

Information about the programs and services being delivered under the action plan are in our information pack (PDF, 4.2 MB). This includes:

  • programs and services by Queensland region
  • an illustrative example of the journey a young person may go through when involved in, or at risk of entering, the youth justice system
  • programs and services provided for all of Queensland.

The majority of actions respond to findings or recommendations from recent Youth Justice-related reports. These are recorded below as:

Pillar 1: Intervene early

We will connect children, young people and families to services and supports so they can address their health, wellbeing, safety and education needs.

Preventing crime begins with making sure that children are born healthy and are brought up safe and well. Prevention and early intervention is a responsibility of the whole community as well as government.

Actions focus on ensuring that when children and families start experiencing problems, they receive help as early as possible.

  1. Implement the Queensland Youth Partnerships Initiative which engages corporate and community partners in initiatives to support young people including youth crime prevention and crime responses.
    Report: AR.02 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  2. Enhance the capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Wellbeing Services through new Indigenous Youth and Family Workers who provide early support for parents and families of children and young people at risk of or already offending, in order to prevent involvement in the youth justice system.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  3. Expand the permitted use of the Our Child information sharing platform to Youth Justice Court Coordinators and Case Workers and roll-out of mobile devices to Youth Justice Court Coordinators and Case Workers to ensure information can be access when and where it is needed.
    Report: AR.49 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  4. Engage and retain young people who are in the youth justice system (or at risk) with sport, recreation and arts activities through new funding and targeted strategies under the Queensland Sport and Active Recreation Strategy.
    Report:
    nil Lead organisation: Department of Housing and Public Works
  5. Deliver new and enhanced sexual abuse and sexual assault counselling services and provide training to help organisations respond to young people with harmful sexual behaviours.
    Report:
    nil Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women, Department of Youth Justice
  6. Help schools in remote communities to implement a local community body with key community stakeholders to conduct mediation sessions with families and students to address school attendance.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Education
  7. Aim to increase immunisation rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and children under state care through the Queensland Immunisation Strategy 2017-2022.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Queensland Health
  8. Ensure children in state care are up to date with vaccinations by regularly exchanging information to provide follow-up services for children who are overdue for scheduled vaccinations.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Queensland Health
  9. Consider how the Be well Learn well program, providing health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in a remote Queensland state school, could help further address learning and developmental needs.
    Report: AR.04 Lead organisation: Department of Education
  10. In Townsville, trial a wellbeing measure for primary school children to inform an assessment tool for flexible education and support services.
    Report: TV.05 AR.04 Lead organisation: Department of Education
  11. In Townsville, investigate and trial a Queensland student identifier number (similar to the Victorian student number) for children enrolled in education to ensure all children are engaged in an education pathway.
    Report: TV.06 AR.04 Lead organisation: Department of Education
  12. In Townsville, support school attendance and school engagement by implementing findings of the evaluation of current engagement programs.
    Report: TV.07 AR.09 Lead organisation: Department of Education
  13. In Townsville, investigate the establishment of the Stronger Smarter program, Clontarf Foundation and Stars Foundation academies in selected primary schools.
    Report: TV.08 AR.09 Lead organisation: Department of Education
  14. In Townsville, develop and trial an extra-curricular education program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary school children to develop cultural resilience.
    Report: TV.09 Lead organisation: Department of Education
  15. In the Townsville local government area, review the use of the intercultural understanding learning module for primary school children (Australian curriculum) for improvements to strengthen intercultural understanding.
    Report: TV.10 Lead organisation: Department of Education
  16. Release a whole-of-government Early Years Plan to support Queensland children's early learning and development.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Education
  17. Continue to implement the Supporting Families Changing Futures child and family reforms to meet the health, wellbeing, safety and education needs of young people in care, and help reduce the number of young people in care coming into contact with the youth justice system.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  18. Establish relationships and protocols between youth justice service centres and family support and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Wellbeing Services to increase capacity of services to accept referrals of families with young people in the youth justice system.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  19. Strengthen the capacity of funded services (Family and Child Connect, Intensive Family Support and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family wellbeing services) to identify and respond effectively to children, young people, and their families at risk of youth justice system involvement.
    Report:
    AR.03 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  20. In Townsville, map the parent education programs and assess their performance, reach and effectiveness in order to strengthen family networks.
    Report: TV.03 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice, Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  21. Deliver a public awareness and education campaign for Queensland parents, carers and young people to understand what cyberbullying is, the harm it can cause, and how we need to address it-be co-created with a diverse group of young Queenslanders, including children involved with the youth justice system.
    Report: CB.06 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  22. Deliver a comprehensive anti-cyberbullying online portal that is accessible and inclusive for all members of the community, including children involved with the youth justice system and their families. The portal should provide information and advice that links to relevant services and agencies.
    Report: CB.07 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  23. Design and deliver an anti-cyberbullying grants program for young people (with the support of a sponsoring organisation) and community organisations to support initiatives which will help tackle cyberbullying and create positive behaviour change.
    Report: CB.09 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  24. Examine options to delivery anti-cyberbullying parenting skills programs and digital skills training to support parents and carers.
    Report: CB.10 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  25. Implement 3 place-based trials, including a culturally specific trial in an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, focused on addressing youth sexual violence through awareness-raising and early intervention programs.
    Report: AR.02 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  26. Commission research and evaluate 3 place-based trials to better understand what works and build a stronger evidence base for preventing and responding to youth sexual violence.
    Report: AR.02 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  27. Implement Queensland's framework for action - Reshaping our approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander domestic and family violence.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  28. Review the operation and authority of the Townsville Stronger Communities Executive Committee to support a community-driven Townsville youth development strategic plan.
    Report: TV.20 AR.57 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  29. Develop and implement an information sharing training resource to further embed and improve information sharing processes with partner agencies.
    Report: AR.49 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  30. Embed collaboration across services, non-government and government, in all commissioning processes including request for quotes and contracts.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women and Department of Youth Justice
  31. Strengthen Department of Child Safety and Youth Justice participation in cross agency information sharing work through the enhanced Youth Justice Framework for Practice.
    Report: AR.49 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  32. Implement a Youth Engagement Strategy 2019-22, which will include a statement of commitment to alternative education for young people who are disengaged from education, including those who are at-risk of involvement with the youth justice system.
    Report: AR.09 Lead organisation: Department of Education
  33. Provide literacy and numeracy resourcing options for schooling sites and programs that are different from mainstream schools and cater to young people who are disengaged from education and those at risk of involvement with the youth justice system. Programs will be culturally inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young peole and aligned to the Australian Curriculum general capabilities.
    Report: AR.09 Lead organisation: Department of Education
  34. Develop and implement a health assessment model to improve health care outcomes for children and young people in care, including those who are on dual orders.
    Report: AR.03 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  35. Support local level alliances and local approaches to information sharing to improve outcomes for children and young people.
    Report: AR.49 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  36. Enhance regional child youth and family committees so that they are better positioned to contribute and influence the collaborative implementation of the Youth Justice Strategy Action Plan in regions.
    Report: AR.62 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women

Pillar 2: Keep children out of court

Where possible, we will divert children from court, ensuring children and young people with early or low-level offending have positive family and community influences, are engaged in education, training and activities, and get support to address their behaviours.

There is consistent evidence that many children who offend for the first time will not re-offend and that providing support and diverting them away from court is the most effective and efficient response.

These actions provide options for diversion with interventions suitable for children who are at higher risk of offending, including for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

  1. Community Youth Responses will deliver tailored packages of new services to address local issues with youth crime in Brisbane South/Logan, Ipswich and Cairns, and supplement services in Gold Coast and Brisbane North/Moreton. 
    Report: AR.48 AR.02 AR.55 AR.17 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  2. Deliver the Townsville Community Youth Response Initiative comprising after-hours diversion services, cultural mentoring, bridging to flexi-school, intensive case management, specialist High Risk Childrens Court list, coordination and leadership of community-led actions.
    Report: AR.48 AR.02 AR.17 AR.51 AR.52 AR.53 AR.54 AR.57 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  3. Establish mentoring and after-hours services in locations of high need as part of the Community Youth Response package to reduce offending.
    Report: AR.02 AR.17 AR.48 AR.52 AR.53 AR.54 AR.55 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  4. In Townsville, consider enhancing after-hours youth services including but not limited to a youth services call centre, transport, additional emergency accommodation and emergency support.
    Report: TV.11 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  5. Trial a new youth transitional hub in Mount Isa to provide a safe place and assistance for young people at risk of offending, particularly young people on the streets at night.
    Report: AR.48 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  6. Through Framing the Future provide post-program mentoring and support to Project Booyah graduates in 9 locations.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Queensland Police Service
  7. Enhance training and options to increase frontline police capability to utilise diversionary options.
    Report: AR.16 Lead organisation: Queensland Police Service
  8. Reduce preventable police call-outs to residential care services by implementing the new joint agency protocol through regional level action plans, engagement with residential sector and communication strategies.
    Report: AR.56 Lead agency: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  9. Deliver supervised community accommodation services and evaluate their effectiveness.
    Report: AR.19 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  10. Fund Legal Aid Queensland to provide training to key stakeholders including bail support services and Queensland Police in relation to youth justice matters and bail.
    Report: AR.16 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  11. Improve the database so police can refer a young person to a restorative justice or alternative diversionary program that matches the young person's needs.
    Report: AR.17 AR.27 Lead organisation: Queensland Police Service
  12. Monitor and respond to emerging hot spots with programs tailored to local issues, for example increasing services in periods of demand, such as Christmas.
    Report: AR.02 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  13. Increase police diversion of young offenders by commencing a protected admissions scheme.
    Report: AR.18 Lead organisation: Queensland Police Service
  14. Undertake ongoing monitoring of recent updates to the Child Safety practice manual to strengthen guidance around child safety staff atttending youth justice matters at court and advocating for children in relation to bail.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  15. Implement changes to the Queensland Police Service case conferencing model to facilitate the timely resolution of proceedings.
    Report: AR.16 Lead organisation: Queensland Police Service
  16. Investigate options to increase the capacity of youth support services to help young people at risk of youth justice system involvement, this including referring to crime prevention initiatives.
    Report: AR.03 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  17. Provide workers across education, health, family support, youth, justice, other community services sectors information about adolescent development and trauma-informed responses.
    Report: AR.13 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  18. Department of Housing and Public Works (sport and recreation) will promote and support any training program that Department of Youth Justice develops that assists sport and recreational organisations to better engage and work with the Youth Justice cohort.
    Report:
    AR.13 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice and Department of Housing and Public Works
  19. Implement Next Step Plus (DOCX) to support young people who have left care until age 25, including those who were on dual orders. 
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  20. Participate in the review of the age of criminal responsibility, through the Council of Attorneys-General Age of Criminal Responsibility Working Group.
    Report: AR.68 AR.69 AR.70 Lead organisation: Department of Justice and Attorney-General
  21. Respond to young people requiring bail after hours via a legal advice line.
    Report: AR.20 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  22. In Townsville, consider establishing community hubs at selected schools to centralise after-hours youth development services.
    Report: TV.12 AR.04 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  23. Strengthen existing partnerships to expand initiatives that prevent motor vehicle crime.
    Report: AR.58 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  24. A supporting young people on dual orders working group, will be established between Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women and Department of Youth Justice to improve planning and support for young people in detention centres who are also subject to a child safety order.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  25. Continue to work across agencies and the community to respond and address current concerns about young people congregating in the Brisbane CBD/Musgrave Park and engaging in high risk behaviour.
    Report: AR.02 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  26. Queensland Government will consider a referral pathway similar to the bail assistance line in New South Wales. 
    Report: AR.20 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice

Pillar 3: Keep children out of custody

Children and young people who have offended need to have a safe place to live, be supervised and supported to:

  • repair harms
  • address behaviours
  • reconnect with families and communities.

Research shows that detention can be harmful to children and may increase offending. This is especially relevant for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. To keep children out of detention and the community safe, courts require a range of orders and interventions that decrease future offending.

These actions mean that children who don’t need to be in custody are kept out of watchhouses and detention prior to, and following an appearance in court.

  1. Continue existing operation of the High Risk Youth Court (Townsville) and further develop the model to align with best practice findings of recent evaluation, including those relating to efficacy and areas for improvement.
    Report: AR.48 AR.26 TV.15 TV.16 TV17 Lead organisation: Department of Justice and Attorney-General
  2. Ensure the quality of Childrens Court practice is maintained and enhanced through an additional 255 sitting days for a specialist Childrens Court Magistrate.
    Report: AR.40 Lead organisation: Department of Justice and Attorney-General
  3. Trial the use of Risk and Dynamic Assessment Register (RADAR) – a new tool at 3 court locations to provide advice to court on the risk a child will re-offend and link them with supports in the community as an alternative to being held in custody.
    Report: AR.12 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  4. Continue and enhance the conditional bail program which focuses on addressing young people’s educational or vocational needs, mental health issues, family intervention and accommodation to maximise the potential to remain in the community while awaiting sentencing.
    Report: AR.22  Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  5. Pilot Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family-Led Decision Making processes in 4 locations to increase cultural authority in identifying and responding to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in the youth justice system. 
    Report: AR.28 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  6. Deliver the Education Justice initiative in 2 locations and evaluate to determine the effectiveness and potential for expansion.
    Report: AR.06 Lead organisation: Department of Education
  7. Undertake a 12-month pilot trial for intensive supervision of young people on bail in the community, which will link to bail support, Youth Justice, and community response and diversion initiatives. 
    Report: AR.22 AR.23 Lead organisation: Queensland Police Service
  8. Continue and enhance Youth Justice restorative justice conferencing across Queensland and improve its use.
    Report: AR.26 AR.28 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  9. Monitor and evaluate community youth responses and the bail support program to identify improvements needed to ensure young people and families get the right support at the right time, with a focus on the effectiveness for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young peoples and young people in rural and remote areas.
    Report: AR.23 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  10. Increase engagement in education, training or employment through the Youth Engagement Strategy 2019-22, which includes regional youth engagement hubs (PDF), flexispaces pilot and statewide development of youth engagement capability.
    Report: AR.11 AR.09 Lead organisation: Department of Education
  11. Flexispaces will be established in selected schools to meet the needs of young people who are at risk of disengaging, including those who are at-risk of involvement with the youth justice system.
    Report: AR.09 Lead organisation: Department of Education
  12. Continue to implement bail support services and legal advocacy services and monitor those services to ensure they deliver reductions in remand in custody, offending and bail breaches.
    Report: AR.21 AR.22 AR.23 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  13. Queensland Health and the Department of Youth Justice will identify geographical priority areas for undertaking mental health,  fitness for trial and soundness of mind assessments of children and adolescents. 
    Report: AR.12 Lead organisation: Queensland Health
  14. Deliver the Youth and Families Head Leases initiative to provide improved housing responses to young people in the youth justice system and their families, where unstable accommodation is an issue. 30 families will be assisted over a 3 year period.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Housing and Public Works
  15. Continue the Homelessness Social Benefit Bond to provide an integrated approach to young people aged 15 to 25 years who are exiting or have exited statutory care of custody in the Townsville, Logan or Ipswich regions. Young people will receive services tailored to their needs, that deliver safe and stable housing as well as practical skills to build resilience.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Housing and Public Works
  16. Deliver the Youth Housing and Reintegration Service program to young people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, including those who are in Youth Justice or at risk of involvement, to provide support, financial help and accommodation.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  17. Through non-statutory restorative practices, manage anti-social behaviour of young people by helping them understand how their behaviour harms others.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  18. As part of the Housing Service Delivery Transformation project, develop a specific program to support young people exiting out-of-home care and youth justice systems and transitioning to independence.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Housing and Public Works
  19. Implement legislative amendments (if passed) that may assist keeping children out of custody by removing legislative barriers that may contribute to children being refused bail, breaching bail conditions or remaining in detention on remand for an extended period (Youth Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019).
    Report: AR.21 AR.22 AR.43 AR.49 AR.70 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  20. Review impact of the amendments in the proposed Youth Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 for police, courts and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
    Report: AR.21 AR.22 AR.43 AR.49 AR.70 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  21. Improve educational outcomes for children in care (including those with Youth Justice orders) and support those at risk of suspension and exclusion from school through the joint working group between Department of Education, Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women and Department of Youth Justice 
    Report: AR.09 Lead organisation: Department of Education and Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  22. Deliver the Youth Support Services program to respond to young people at risk of youth justice system involvement, including responding to young people at risk of disengaging from schools, training or employment through the provision of case management, information, advice and referral. 
    Report: AR.11 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  23. Establish a Quality Assurance Directorate within the Department of Youth Justice to ensure continuous improvements to Youth Justice quality and performance, including quality of services delivered to children, young people and families.
    Reports: nil Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  24. Review the performance and effectiveness of the restorative justice conferencing program across the state to improve diversionary justice procedures for courts.
    Report: TV.17 AR.26 AR.27 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  25. In Townsville, review the performance and effectiveness of the restorative justice conferencing program to improve diversionary justice procedures for the High Risk Youth Court.
    Report: TV.17 AR.26 AR.27 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice, Queensland Police Service, Department of Justice and Attorney-General
  26. In Townsville, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of post detention rehabilitation services through an independent audit of the effectiveness of transition pathways between rehabilitation services after detention.
    Report: TV.18 AR.25 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  27. In both youth detention centres, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of transition pathways between detention and community. 
    Report: TV.18 AR.10 AR.36 AR.25 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  28. Undertake a jurisdictional business process review focussing on court user needs, workload trends and ways to improve processes.
    Report: AR.21 Lead organisation: Department of Justice and Attorney-General
  29. In Townsville, investigate and trial the involvement of Elders (such as a Murri Youth Court) to support diversionary justice procedures for the High Risk Youth Court.
    Report: TV.15 Lead organisation: Department of Justice and Attorney-General
  30. In Townsville, review the resourcing of the community justice group to support diversionary justice procedures for the High Risk Youth Court.
    Report: TV.16 Lead organisation: Department of Justice and Attorney-General
  31. Build 2 new Youth Foyers on the Gold Coast and in Townsville, and expand the Logan Youth Foyer, to provide housing for young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and support them to achieve independence.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Housing and Public Works
  32. Deliver the Sustaining Young Tenancies program, which provides mobile support to young tenants aged 16 to 25 in the Brisbane area to help them maintain their current tenancies and prevent tenancy breakdown and homelessness.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Housing and Public Works
  33. Evaluate the Senior Child Safety Officer (Youth Detention Liaison) role in Brisbane and Cleveland Youth Detention Centres to determine the effectiveness of the role in facilitating collaborative case management and reducing remand of young people on dual orders.
    Report: AR.10 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  34. Develop an evidence-informed Youth Justice Framework for Practice to strengthen capabilities in Youth Justice supervision, support and custodial practice.
    Report: AR.56 AR.38 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  35. Department of Youth Justice will work with other agencies to develop future actions to expand accommodation and placement options for vulnerable children.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice

Pillar 4: Reduce re-offending

To make our communities safer, children and young people who are repeat offenders must receive rehabilitation and support that stops re-offending and enables their successful reintegration with families, culture and communities.

The best way to reduce re-offending is by delivering evidence-based interventions that address the risks and needs of each child, and are delivered with the right intensity and frequency.

These actions ensure that young people access programs to address their offending and personal circumstances, and they are supported to transition back into the community as law-abiding citizens.

  1. Continue integrated case management in Youth Justice services in Logan, Moreton Bay and Cairns.
    Report: AR.21 AR.22 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  2. Deliver expansion of Transition 2 Success state-wide to assist young people who are involved in, or at risk of contact with, the justice system to reengage with education and training and transition away from the justice system.
    Report: AR.11 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  3. Establish Specialist Multi Agency Response Teams (SMART) of Education, Health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander support services, Youth Justice and Drug and Alcohol Workers to identify and respond the needs of young people and their families at 8 locations to support the Childrens Court in assessing young people’s needs, factors that may contribute to offending behaviour and referral to support services.
    Report: AR.29 AR.50 AR.51 AR.12 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  4. Expand the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women Brisbane district trial of Navigate Your Health to include young people entering the youth justice system and extend the enhanced initiative to 2 other locations.
    Report: AR.12 AR.02 AR.05 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  5. Enhance the Burragah Bridge program in Townville to reconnect young people in the youth justice system and those at high risk of mainstream school disengagement with education.
    Report: AR.09 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  6. Continue the Youth Engagement Alliance across agencies to ensure every child and young person, including those involved in youth justice, can succeed in training and education.
    Report: AR.07 Lead organisation: Department of Education
  7. Adopt a process based on risk-need-responsivity for Youth Justice services to standardise assessment, improve decisions and deliver only responses known to be effective at addressing young people's offending.
    Report: AR.27 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  8. Implement domestic and family violence programs designed for young people including adolescents using violence towards their mothers or towards their partners.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  9. The Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women Specialist Services Team will work with young people subject to dual order to identify underlying impairments, health and mental health needs which may contribute to the young person’s high and complex presentation, and assist them in accessing  supports.
    Report: AR.12 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  10. The Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women Specialist Services Team will provide additional capacity to support young people with disability (in youth detention and in community settings) to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
    Report:
    AR.12 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  11. In Townsville, coordinate mentoring and employment pathways between youth programs such as Project Booyah, cultural mentoring and Transition to Success, to ensure re-engagement in training and education.
    Report: TV.13 AR.11 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  12. Use shared risk and needs assessment tools, which incorporate the Neurodevelopment Impairment Framework to better predict and intervene effectively with children and young people most likely to re-offend.
    Report: AR.12 AR.29 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  13. Queensland Health will support the Youth Justice workforce with training in responding to the needs of children and young people with mental health and substance misuse issues.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Queensland Health
  14. Work with key agencies (including the National Disability Insurance Agency) to develop options and models to respond and assist children and young people with disability, challenging and harmful behaviours, mental health and substance misuse issues.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  15. Queensland Health will conduct inter-agency consultation as part of mental health, alcohol and other drug treatment services planning activity and ensure the needs of young people within the criminal justice system are considered.
    Report: AR.30 Lead organisation: Queensland Health
  16. Develop targeted communication to raise awareness of referral pathways for families into the Breakthrough For Families services, including targeting police, courts, Youth Justice services and youth funded services.
    Report: AR.05 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  17. Connect existing contracted youth support services and Youth Housing and Reintegration Services with Breakthrough For Families in local areas via local level alliances in order to provide appropriate supports to  families with children and young people who are re-offending.
    Report: AR.05 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  18. Across the state, increase community service opportunities for children and young people on supervised orders and in detention via a comprehensive review of community service orders, programs, activities and benefits, particularly for young people transitioning from detention.
    Report: TV.IR.2 TV.AR.3 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  19. In Townsville, increase community service opportunities for children and young people on supervised orders and in detention via a comprehensive review of community service orders, programs, activities and benefits, particularly for young people transitioning from detention.
    Report: TV.IR.2 TV.IR.3 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  20. In Townsville, establish an offender accountability board to identify how young people involved with the youth justice system can give back to the community through activities that are visible and meaningful.
    Report: TV.IR.1 TV.IR.2 TV.IR.3 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  21. Continue to implement the government response from the Independent Review into Youth Detention.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  22. Monitor, review and evaluate funded services, including supervised community accommodation services, legal advocacy and bail support program, youth support, youth offender support service, and Youth Housing and Reintegration Services, to promote continuous improvement and ensure services are meeting the needs of young people at risk of or in the youth justice system. 
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  23. Identify and facilitate additional statewide and local partnerships to connect Transition 2 Success participants with employement and training opportunities.
    Report: AR.12 Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  24. Implement the Link and Launch pilot program in Cairns and Logan-Beaudesert to increase youth engagement with education and employment. Participants will receive cohesive support and guidance to navigate the network of available education and employment pathways. 
    Report: AR.11 Lead organisation: Department of Employment, Small Business and Training
  25. Continue to deliver the Skilling Queenslanders for Work Youth Skills and Get Set For Work programs. Get Set For Work provides intensive employment and training assistance to young, disengaged Queenslanders aged 15-19 years, and Youth Skills provides nationally recognised training and employment support for 15-24 year olds who are engaged with Youth Justice or Queensland Corrective Services.
    Report: AR.11 Lead organisation: Department of Employment, Small Business and Training
  26. Evaluate the YouthChoices social benefit bond for its impact on offending and re-offending and use findings to inform future work and investment.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  27. Evaluate the Youth Connect social benefit bond for its impact on offending and re-offending and use findings to inform future work and investment.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Housing and Public Works
  28. Develop an evidence-informed Youth Justice Framework for Practice to strengthen capabilities in Youth Justice supervision, support and custodial practice.
    Report: AR.56 AR.38 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  29. Explore ways to increase the capability of Youth Justice staff to better support and link young people with mental health conditions, problematic alcohol and other drug use and suicidal ideation to appropriate treatment and support in the community. This includes through frequent access to suicide awareness and suicide First Response Training.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  30. Explore ways to foster and strengthen partnerships between Youth Justice and mental health and drug and acohol service providers in the community, so that young people are supported to engage with specialist practicioners.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people

We will work with and empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to deliver culturally-safe and responsive solutions that result in positive futures for their children and young people.

While the majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people live safely at home and have developed a clear identity linked to their communities and culture, a substantial number experience significant challenges and disadvantage.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children make up 78 per cent of children sentenced to detention, while only 8 per cent of children aged 10 to 17 in Queensland are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. In 2017-18, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people were 29 times more likely to be held in custody on remand than were non-indigenous young people. These vulnerable young people experience a number of barriers and we need to change the way we do things to improve their life outcomes.

Elders and leaders within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are powerful agents of change. As part of our reform, we are committed to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – Elders, community leaders and families of young people to prevent and deal with crime in their communities.

  1. Enhance the capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Wellbeing Services though new Indigenous Family and Youth Workers who provide early support for parents and families of children and young people at risk of or already offending, in order to prevent involvement with the child protection and/or youth justice systems.  
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  2. Deliver a bail support service for Cherbourg, which will be co-designed to respond to the needs of young people in Cherbourg, and opportunities identified by the community.
    Report: AR.23 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  3. Pilot Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family-Led Decision Making processes in 4 locations to increase cultural authority in identifying and responding to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in the youth justice system. 
    Report: AR.28 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  4. Monitoring and evaluation will include goals to reduce the rates of overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in the youth justice system. 
    Report: AR.77 AR.74 AR.72 AR.71 AR.63 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  5. Design, develop and implement a suit of resources and cultural information package in order to maintain and improve the cultural capability of service staff who work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, families and communities across the state.
    Report: AR.75 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  6. Ensure investments are relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people by embedding cultural capability requirements in all tender processes and contracts.
    Report: AR.73 AR.02 AR.48 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  7. Implement Justice Reinvestment in Cherbourg to provide opportunities for young people to be positively involved in their community, instead of turning to crime.
    Report: AR.02 AR.48 AR.73 Lead organisation: Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
  8. Continue to deliver and review workforce training to staff of key agencies who engage with young people in the youth justice system, to ensure a culturally competent department and stakeholder workforce.
    Report: AR.75 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  9. Implement Queensland's Framework for Action - Reshaping our approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander domestic and family violence.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  10. Continue to work across agencies and the community to respond and address current concerns regarding young people congregating in the Brisbane CBD/Musgrave Park and engaging in high-risk behaviour.
    Report: AR.73 AR.02 AR.48 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  11. Establish relationships and protocols between youth justice service centres, family support and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Wellbeing Services to increase capacity of services to accept referrals of families with young people in the youth justice system.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  12. The needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, their families and communities will be better understood and met in the youth justice system by weaving culturally responsive approaches into the Youth Justice Framework for Practice.
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice

Responding to different needs of girls and young women

We need to do things differently for girls and young women if they are to benefit from reforms to the youth justice system.

There is a growing number of girls and young women in the youth justice system and they often have very complex needs. Most of our responses in the youth justice system have been designed for boys, but we know that young women’s communication and relational styles are different to young men.

The problem behaviours of girls and young women are more closely linked to:

  • interpersonal relationships
  • trauma and abuse
  • mental health issues
  • developmental transitions.

We know that girls and young women are likely to have better outcomes when they have healthy and supportive family and peer relationships, develop empathy and learn ways of positive coping.

  1. A specialised gendered response will be funded in the bail support program to target girls and young women and respond to their distinct needs. 
    Report: AR.23 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  2. The construction of the new detention centre will be designed to meet the circumstances of different cohorts of children, including  girls.
    Report: AR.35 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  3. The needs and behaviours of girls and young women within the Queensland youth justice system will be better understood and met by weaving a gender responsive approach in the Youth Justice Framework for Practice.
    Report:
    AR.56 AR.38 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice
  4. The capacity of Youth Justice to work effectively with girls and young women will be improved through the delivery of Youth Justice services and programs that are designed to respond to the needs of girls and young women. 
    Report: nil Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice

Strengthened and safe infrastructure

Serious and repeat young offenders will be held accountable for their behaviour and will be supported to address the causes of their offending in secure, safe environments.

While the Queensland Government implements reforms in partnership with community to divert young people from the system and to reduce offending and re-offending rates, new infrastructure will ensure there are safer places than watchhouses to remand children. We will ensure no child is held in a watchhouse any longer than is necessary to process their charges.

Population growth also places pressures on the justice system—new infrastructure will keep pace with population growth. Building new detention facilities allows us to plan over the longer term and decommission or re-purpose our existing and aging infrastructure. 

These actions will ensure that children and young people are safe and have their needs addressed while in watchhouses, and those requiring an extra level of supervision are safely accommodated and can address their offending behaviour in a secure environment.

  1. A new youth detention centre at Wacol is planned for delivery in a 2 stage construction approach. The 32 beds, as part of stage one, will become available to support the movement of young persons out of police watchhouses. 
    Report: AR.35 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice

  2. A 16 bed accommodation block with associated modular ancillary services will be constructed within the current campus of the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre, allowing removal of 16 young people from police watchhouses.
    Report: AR.33 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice

  3. To ensure the safety of children and police interim measures are in place to respond to the remand of children in police watchhouses. The additional police staff, additional Youth Justice staff (Watchhouse Response Team) and non-government services at police watchhouses will ensure the health, education and justice needs of children and young people are met while temporarily in watchhouses. These responses help ensure young people can make bail applications, and where necessary facilitate their admission to youth detention centres. This will allow continued care, support and access to justice for a highly vulnerable group of children and young people.
    Report:
    AR.33 Lead organisation: Department of Youth Justice