Labor's boot camp 'lite' wont tackle causes of crime

Bligh Labor’s election-eve back-flip on youth boot camps was desperate and could not be believed, the LNP said today.

LNP Shadow Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said for years Labor had attacked any suggestion that boot camps should be used for repeat offenders and just last week Ms Struthers in a media release said boot camps don’t work. Five days later Labor is once again showing it has no plan and will say anything to get re-elected.

“Today, in desperation, Anna Bligh has ridden right over the top of her youth justice Minister Karen Struthers and announced this back-flip on boot camps,” Mr Bleijie said.

“Only the LNP has a real plan to help break the cycle of youth crime and detention by delivering extra school and community based police and trialling a Youth Boot Camp Diversion Program.

“Labor’s plan does nothing to redress the underlying causes of youth crime and why children are at risk in the first place. Our Youth Boot Camp Diversion Program will target offenders at risk of falling into more serious crime and put them on a path to more structured training and education.

“While the LNP will be tough on the worst of our young criminals, including by expanding the naming and shaming laws, we also believe that, where possible, we should try to intercept and intervene before crime becomes a problem at the community level by working with our youth to stop them falling off the tracks,” Mr Bleijie said.

“Under this tired 20 year Labor government, youth crime has spun out of control and the numbers of police in our schools has stalled. An LNP government will revive school and community based policing and work with schools, P&Cs and communities to deliver 15 more school and community based police across Queensland, almost a 50 per cent increase.

“We will introduce a trial boot camp for juveniles convicted of offences who would otherwise face custodial offences. The offenders will be diverted into an intensive three-month program that would deliver structured training, mentoring and support for 80 young offenders who would otherwise go to detention. The budget for the program is $2 million over two years.

“We need to change Labor’s revolving-door approach that keeps sending repeat offenders off to detention centres which are more akin to colleges of crime than rehabilitation.”

“The LNP will adopt a whole-of-family approach and work with at-risk juvenile offenders to break the crime cycle through rehabilitation and follow-up mentoring and supervision.

“It might well be incentives like Kokoda can be used for those who perform well in our program, but Labor’s announcement today is about offering paid trips, not a tough, structured intervention strategy.

“Together, we can make our streets and school communities safer and offer a genuine alternative to a life of crime. It’s time for a change. It’s time to get Queensland back on track.”