Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women

Youth justice reform

The Queensland Government has announced the Working Together Changing the Story: Youth Justice Strategy 2019-2023: second tranche of major youth justice reforms and record investments totaling $320 million.

The changes focus on keeping communities safe by tackling youth offending: preventing offending, reducing reoffending and remand, and in particular, reducing the number of young people held on remand in police watchhouses.

The reforms support achievement of the Advancing Queensland Priorities ‘Keep Communities Safe’ priority target to reduce youth re-offending, and deliver on the Government’s responses to Bob Atkinson’s Report on Youth Justice and Major-General Stuart Smith's Report Townsville's Voice. (PDF)

For more information about these reforms see: 

First tranche of major youth justice reforms

Since 2015, Youth Justice has been undergoing a series of changes designed to better support children involved in the youth justice system. These have included:

  • reforms to Queensland detention centres, including the Independent Review into Youth Detention. The government accepted all 83 of the recommendations and identified further opportunities to create positive change in the youth justice system
  • legislation to transfer eligible 17-year-olds from the adult justice system to the youth justice system
  • the establishment of supervised community accommodation services across Queensland
  • recruitment of new frontline staff for courts, community and youth detention centres
  • more resources for children’s courts, including a new magistrate, to ensure timely processes
  • after-hours legal services for young people and increased funding for Legal Aid Queensland
  • multisystemic therapy (MST)
  • wrap around homelessness services
  • Townsville Community Action Plan.