Federal MP’s office broken into, slams revolving door of youth crime
KATTER’S Australian Party MP Bob Katter is frustrated with the “revolving door” of youth crime policy, sympathising with Queensland’s juvenile offenders caught up in the system, following an alleged break into his Mount Isa electorate office late Sunday night.
Mr Katter’s office at Simpson St, Mount Isa was allegedly targeted just before midnight on Sunday, May 21, with the alleged offenders triggering the alarm and causing minimal damage inside.
Mr Katter said he had been informed four juvenile males had allegedly attempted to break into the building and all four had been taken into custody.
The Kennedy MP spoke on “revolving door” of youth crime during a 90-second statement in Federal Parliament on Monday, highlighting the need to break the cycle of sending kids to prison, only for them to return as “harden criminals.”
“There are little kids being thrown in a steel cage like an animal when they really haven’t done anything wrong,” Mr Katter said.
“Their older brother tells him to get in the car he’s stolen, or he gets a bashing. In the past, those kids would have been given a good kick up the backside and a clip under the ears by the local copper and that would have been the end of it, but now they are costing us close to $1m a year to be kept in juvenile detention centres.
“In the old days, before the white fellas came, the black fellas had ‘Buj-e-ka’ and it means banishment. If you played up in those days, they didn’t need prisons. You’d be sent out into the bush to live by yourself until you behaved like a civilised human being, and then and only then you’d be allowed back into the camp.
“What we’re calling it is Relocation Sentencing – being sent to some very remote location 1000km away. For residents of Cairns, Mount Isa, Ingham, Mareeba, Townsville, it’s that these offenders will not be in in their towns any longer.
“They will be 1000km away and they won’t be costing you $850,000 a year. They will be taught to build their own houses and essential services and will come back with skills and better behaved.
“No more of this revolving sentencing. It’s a joke and it’s costing us a fortune. With relocation, it’s ‘tat-tar’, goodbye, you’re not in Cairns anymore, you’re not in Mareeba anymore. You want to leave the campsite – well you can. The cattle stations may have you for dinner but then so may the crocodiles.”
Keys points of the KAP Relocation Sentencing Policy:
- Applies to young repeat offenders aged 10-17 who have been identified as ‘at-risk’ of recidivism and have a demonstrated history of escalating criminality
- Provides alternative harsh sentencing (and/or bail arrangement) options to magistrates/judges when dealing with these offenders
- These alternative sentencing options include ‘on country’ programs in a remote and approved location.
- Onsite training would go towards qualifications in fields such as a rural operations, cook, butcher, horticulturalist, or stockman, but would not be limited to primary or rural industries. Students would maintain their interactions with formal education and vocational training services.
- The goal of Relocation Sentencing is to break the crime cycle while providing children with life skills, education, and an ability to reintegrate as a productive member of society on release
- It would be available to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous children.
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