Atkinson Report on Youth Justice

Report on Youth Justice from Special Advisor, Bob Atkinson, to Minister Farmer

On 12 February 2018 Mr Robert (Bob) Atkinson AO was appointed Special Advisor to the Honourable Di Farmer MP, Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women, and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence.

Mr Atkinson was asked to examine and report on a series of youth justice matters by 8 June 2018, and to advise on:

  1. progress of the government’s youth justice reforms, and next steps
  2. other measures to reduce recidivism, and
  3. recommendations for youth detention stemming from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.

This report (PDF, 826 KB)addresses the first two terms of reference while the third is subject to a separate report.

Understanding the report: The Four Pillars

The key finding and recommendation is that the Queensland Government as a whole adopt four pillars as its policy position for youth justice. ‘The Four Pillars’ are objectives framed by two fundamental principles: that public safety is paramount, and that community confidence is critical.

The Four Pillars guiding the report are:

  1. Intervene early
  2. Keep children out of court
  3. Keep children out of custody, and
  4. Reduce reoffending.

The report includes 31 papers and 77 recommendations to improve the youth justice system and address the causes of offending.

In December 2018 the Government responded to this report through the release of the Youth Justice Strategy as well as the Government Response to the Atkinson Report on Youth Justice (DOCX, 719 KB).