YANQ Director Siyavash Doostkhah has raised concerns with the proposal, saying, “the young people in Queensland most likely to end up in these boot camps are Aboriginal young people, since they are the most over represented group in the criminal justice system.
"Heavy handed approaches have not worked with this group in the past and there is no evidence they work for any young person. “There are much more appropriate and proven models such as Adventure Based Counselling, which have a focus on experiential learning and with discipline as an integral part of the process”, Mr Doostkhah said.
“It is disappointing that we still look to US for solutions when we know that they have the highest rate of crime in the western world. Boot camps have been operating in US for decades and various evaluations have highlighted that they just don’t work. However they seem to have maintained their popular appeal in the US and every now and then it raises its ugly head in Queensland”.
Mr Doostkhah was also concerned that the soft reputation of modern 'boot camps' belied the violent truth behind the LNP's proposal.
“Boot camps are about shock incarceration and breaking down individuals, similar to practices sanctioned in Guantanamo Bay. Boot camps rely on dominance and degradation, and this is certainly not what we want to role model for these young people”, he said.
“The violence and oppression experienced by Aboriginal people in Queensland throughout the European history of Australia is well documented and boot camps will only add to this by adopting the same authoritarian strategies which have failed Aboriginal young people since European settlement”.
YANQ believes that the LNP should focus on the second part of their plan, which is about supporting young people and their families. The money spent on boot camps could instead go a long way towards funding the support programs LNP has announced for young people and their families.