Here is the link to the latest Queensland Youth Sector News
Here is the link to the latest Queensland Youth Sector News https://mailchi.mp/6d00e23b233d/yanq-e-bulletin-may-9406656
12th July 2020
LNP policy position amounts to child abuse
Youth Affairs Network of Queensland (YANQ) has slammed LNP leader, Deb Frecklington’s opposition to raising of the minimum age of criminal responsibility as irresponsible. “It is very clear that LNP is playing politics with the lives of our children and the safety and wellbeing of the community, said Siyavash Doostkhah, Director of YANQ.
LNP’s position, that despite any decision by the Council of Attorney-Generals later this month, they “would maintain the status quo” and continue locking up children in prison, if they were to come to power in the October state election, simply amounts to neglect and abuse of children at a systemic level.
Putting children in prisons has proven not to be a deterrent so it’s absolutely disingenuous for the opposition leader to say they will reduce crime by “maintaining the status quo” and the incarceration of children. The barbaric and outdated practice of abusing children by locking them up in prisons instead of supporting them must stop.
YANQ is demanding that LNP stop playing politics with this issue. This is about our children’s lives and it is much more important than a few seats in Townsville. There is a need for a bipartisan approach which is based first and foremost on the best interests of our children. It is about supporting our children to heal and to take their rightful place in society, not pushing them through the criminal justice system which is nothing other than a pipeline to adult prisons and a life of crime.
Research has clearly demonstrated that the earlier a child has contact with the youth justice system, the more likely that child will end up in the adult criminal justice system. “Youth prisons are simply a training facility for turning children into career criminals” said Mr Doostkhah.
The most simple, logical, humane, cost-effective and proven action will be for the government to immediately act and raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility and divert the resources to supporting children, their families and communities. Anyone that opposes this is simply an advocate for child abuse. If you lock up your own child, for whatever reason, in a cold concrete room for days or weeks to teach them a lesson, your child can and will be taken away from you and your action labelled as child abuse. There should be no excuse for anyone to treat any child in this abusive manner and this includes government departments.
Mr Doostkhah has vowed that, once the decision has been made by the Council of Attorney-Generals to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility, YANQ would utilize all available means through international instruments such as the United Nations, to insure Queensland children do not continue to suffer abuse by being locked up in prisons.
0407 655 785
Here is the link to the latest Qld Youth Sector News https://mailchi.mp/2d24ce137956/yanq-e-bulletin-may-9349652
Here is the link to the latest Qld Youth Sector News https://mailchi.mp/461af5326b8a/yanq-e-bulletin-may-9314012
5th June 2020
LNP Policy to Boost Youth Crime
Youth Affairs Network of Queensland (YANQ) is appalled by the manner in which LNP is, once again, approaching a state election by campaigning on youth crime.
YANQ’s Director, Mr Siyavash Doostkhah, said “We have a situation whereby some of the conservative media outlets are fuelling the flames of a youth crime wave creating fear in our community. LNP is then responding to this manufactured fear by pointing the finger at Labor as being soft on crime. Labor in turn has been back-pedaling and reversing some of the slow incremental progress that has been made to shift public expenditure from punishment to prevention.”
“In all if this, young people and the community at large are the big losers. More of our tax money will be spent on outdated policy strategies which have been proven to be utter failures. This will only serve to make our communities less safe, and all of this just for short term political gain” said Mr Doostkhah.
In recent years we have seen the Queensland Labor Government being forced to take regressive steps, mimicking the LNP. One example is the way they have expanded Queensland’s youth prison system. This is despite credible research indicating that prevention is a much more cost-efficient way to deal with youth offending and will also result in creating safer communities. The Government knows this but as always, in particular before an election, it has been taken hostage by the conservative parties and media.
Mr Doostkhah has been observing the developments in the Queensland Youth Justice system for the past three decades. He is concerned that without a significant public education campaign we will continue to repeat the same mistakes and waste millions of dollars of our public tax revenue manufacturing hardened criminals. “The young people who are committing the bulk of crimes are used to being neglected and abused. Harsher penalties will in no way deter them from what they are doing. What they need is something different in their life, something that has been missing and that is genuine love and care.”
It not as if we haven’t had the LNP in Government before and when you look at the statistics you will see that there is hardly any difference to the crime rates with changes of Governments. That’s because more or less all sides of politics continue to repeat the same mistake, over and over, campaigning on being tougher than the other side on crime.
Investment in youth work to support young people across the state has stagnated at around $20 million for many years. At the same time, we have hundreds of millions of dollars invested in youth prisons. At some stage, as a community, we should have an objective look at this situation and demand from our Governments that they invest our tax money in putting these young people on a different trajectory rather than putting them in youth prisons which serves as a training ground for a criminal career.
Youth Affairs Network of Queensland
Phone: 0407 655 785
Here is the link to the latest Queensland Youth Sector News: https://mailchi.mp/a004d5c07a2c/yanq-e-bulletin-may-9295920
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Here is the link to the Special COVID-19 Bulletin.
19th March 2020
Open Letter to Queensland State Government and the State Opposition
I am writing on behalf of Youth Affairs Network of Queensland (YANQ), the peak body for youth sector in Queensland. With over 670 individual and organisational members, we are the main voice for marginalised young people across the State.
As you are aware, the evolving crisis with the spread of the Coronavirus is putting many lives in danger. Of particular concern to us are the children and young people who are currently locked up in Queensland’s Youth Detention Centres. We believe that these young people are at great risk and we urge you to consider releasing them as a matter of priority.
Majority of the young people in detention are on remand. YANQ can mobilise its membership and the broader youth sector across Queensland to ensure suitable accommodation is sourced and that these young people can receive the necessary support to reengage with the community.
Around the world authorities are taking the risk of Coronavirus to poisoners very seriously. For example, in the past few days Iran has released over 85,000 prisoners, half of them serving sentences for security reasons. If Iran can release security risk prisoners surely the Queensland Government is able to release children who are not even convicted of any crime and are held on remand.
We also urge the Queensland opposition to support this move and refrain from playing politics and painting this as evidence of the Government being ‘soft on crime’ or ‘putting the safety of our community at risk’. We are facing an unprecedented challenge with a serious risk to many lives. We need strong and compassionate leadership that places children’s lives above politics. We need a clear bipartisan approach to ensure we are not putting the lives of any children at risk.
We hope that you will consider this issue as a matter of priority. We are more than happy to provide any assistance in progressing this humanitarian strategy in the broader context of dealing with the Coronavirus outbreak.
If you need any further information and or clarification, please do not hesitate to contact me on 0407 655 785.
Youth Affairs Network of Queensland