Queensland is the worst state for pressure on juvenile detention capacity
Queensland’s approach to incarcerating children and teenagers is at odds with the number of its permanently funded youth detention beds, with the state coming closer than any other to overcrowding its centers in the past fiscal year.
The state has also hit a new high for the average number of young offenders incarcerated since 17-year-olds were removed from the adult justice system, while numbers under community-based surveillance such as bail or community service orders have also fallen.
The details, set out in a government services report Wednesday by the Productivity Commission, come as the state prepares to build two new detention centers despite longstanding plans to keep young people out of such facilities.
Though Queensland incarcerates more young offenders than any other state or territory, with an average nighttime population of 274.9 prisons in fiscal year 2021-22, the commission’s report finds the state only had 288 permanently funded beds.
This resulted in a 95.5 percent occupancy rate at the centers, up from 84.8 percent in the previous fiscal year and the highest since 2018-19, when 17-year-olds were transferred from adult to juvenile justice.
In NSW and Victoria, which average around 186 and 120 juvenile detention centers per night respectively, a total of 370 and 276 beds respectively were permanently funded in FY2021/22.
Queensland also had the highest number of young people under municipal supervision at 920 – up from 1269 in 2018-19.
Just this month, a judge said two teenagers were being held in police guard houses for more than two weeks, in violation of police protocol because the state’s three detention centers were “stretched to capacity”.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/queensland/queensland-ranks-worst-state-for-youth-detention-capacity-pressure-20230123-p5ceqz.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national Queensland is the worst state for pressure on juvenile detention capacity