Changes to Treatment of Young Offenders

The Queensland state government is making drastic changes to the way young people who commit crimes are treated. Young offenders are to be named and shamed. Those punished by being sent to institutions will be transferred to adult prisons when they reach the age of eighteen.

Many of the "young criminals" are victims of crime themselves. Difficult home life has pushed them into crime. Naming them would make their lives intolerable.

The government decision has been made on just one survey. It seems the decision was made before the survey began. Young people are not mature adults. They are growing and learning. Judging them at such a stage in their lives is marking them as bad citizens for life.

Other changes include making fixed penalties for some crimes committed by adults. Judges will not have the discretion to modify the sentences according to prevailing circumstances.

A change that just about everyone agrees on is courts knowing the case histories of adult defendants during a trial. Many offenders get away with crimes simply because their past behavior is not known.
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Australian Blog