New Juvenile Laws Will Stifle Rehab Opportunities

Bosscher Lawyers’ Anna Smith has told media that the Newman Government’s new juvenile offender law reforms, will stifle a young person’s chances at a better life and that the hardline approach to juvenile offenders did not cater for the rehabilitation of young people.

Attorney General, Jarrod Bleijie admitted on Tuesday that the reforms were tough, but fair and necessary.

Ms Smith said the changes effectively meant that detention would no longer be a punishment of last resort, but rather would expose juveniles with limited criminal history to detention and erode their chances of rehabilitation.

“The reforms take away a lot of measures that community-based orders can assist with and what this does, it puts the young offenders in detention whereby they are exposed to harder criminals, especially if they are now getting moved to adult detention at 17,” Ms Smith said.

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