On 12 February 2018, Mr Robert (Bob) Atkinson AO was appointed Special Advisor to the Honourable Di Farmer MP, Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women, and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence.
Mr Atkinson was asked to examine and report on a series of youth justice matters by 8 June 2018, and to advise on:
1. progress of the government’s youth justice reforms, and next steps
2. other measures to reduce recidivism, and
3. recommendations for youth detention stemming from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse
This report addresses the first two terms of reference while the third is subject to a separate report.
In February 2018 Mr Robert (Bob) Atkinson was asked to examine and report on youth justice matters.
His report recommended that the Queensland Government adopt 4 pillars as its policy position for youth justice:
• intervene early
• keep children out of court
• keep children out of custody
• reduce reoffending
The Queensland Government committed to developing a youth justice strategy by the end of 2018. The strategy will build on the findings of the Atkinson Report on Youth Justice, and reflect contemporary research and evidence about what works to prevent youth crime and reduce reoffending. When it is completed, the youth justice strategy will form the foundation for how government, business and communities work together over the next 5 years. It will also address the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in the youth justice system.
The strategy will outline ways to achieve the Queensland Government’s Advancing Queensland priority to keep communities safe and reduce rates of youth reoffending by 5% by 2020-21. The Our Future State website provides information about this target and Our Future State: Advancing Queensland’s Priorities. The report includes 31 papers and 77 recommendations to improve the youth justice system and address the causes of offending.
• View the full report here (PDF, 826 KB)
• View ‘The Four Pillars: A Snapshot’ fact sheet (PDF, 188 KB)