17 Year Olds Case Study

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Queensland is the only jurisdiction in Australia to send 17 year olds to adult correctional centres. The recent changes in regards to reducing youth crime are likely to fail in decreasing crime rates in Queensland. The continuation of the policy to incarcerate 17 year olds in adult correctional facilities in Queensland is unlikely to succeed in reducing juvenile crime. The current legislation in Queensland is highly likely to fail in reducing crime. It is clear from research conducted that 17 year olds should not be classified as adults in the justice system and the current legislation needs to change due to the damaging consequences that adult prison has on young 17 year olds. Various studies have proven that early intervention on young …show more content…
The issues surrounding the new legislation has provoked many concerns from various stakeholders. The Queensland Law Society stated. “According to all other laws and social conventions, society has decided that 18 is the age when people assume adult responsibilities. So if 17-year-olds are considered children across a wide range of legal rights and responsibilities but if convicted of an offence are suddenly an adult. That’s highly questionable logic (Queensland Law Society, 2014) The Queensland Law Society has repeatedly called for changes to the new legislation 17 year olds are considered children in every other aspect of the law why treat them as adults only when they commit a crime. Sending 17 year olds to adult correctional centres is extremely emotionally and physically damaging. Queensland University of Technology 's School of Justice senior lecturer, Dr Kelly Richards, said young people in adult prisons were at a massively increased risk of emotional harm, psychological harm, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. The harm caused to 17 year olds in prison is extremely detrimental to their health and well-being. The money spent sending 17 year olds to jail should be invested into rehabilitation programs rather then just sending juvenile offenders to prison, the money should be put into well implemented programs that can rehabilitate young offenders. The national Children 's Commissioner …show more content…
The Queensland government must change the tougher on crime approach, boot camps, naming and shaming, publishing juvenile crime in adult courts, allowing the public into the children’s court and sending 17 year olds to adult correctional centers have demonstrated unsuccessful in reducing juvenile crime. The Queensland government needs to change its approach by examining alternative approaches juvenile offenders. An approach to reducing youth crime could be instead of spending the money sending 17 year olds to prison they could invest into implementing early rehabilitation programs that could assist youths in getting jobs, helping them with substance abuse, helping them with their family issues and encourage education among juvenile offenders. If these programs are implemented early then it will positively affect the behavior of the juvenile, before it deteriorates any further. If the problem is resolved at an early stage, then the crime rates will reduce not only for juvenile crimes but adult crimes because if the juvenile has support early then they will not carry on in criminal activity in later life. Programs like this have been trialed in America and the results have proven to be extremely effective. The Queensland government need to implement these programs in the Queensland justice system soon, rehabilitating young offenders should be a priority

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