Friday, November 21, 2008

Australia: System soft on young thugs

Almost half the young offenders committing serious assaults in Queensland get away with a slap on the wrist. Of the 846 under-16s who committed serious bashings in 2007-08, 346 or 41 per cent received a caution. Another 95 offenders were sent to community conferencing, where social and youth workers talk about their offence.

State Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg yesterday accused the Government of going soft on youth crime. "Serious juvenile offenders are getting away with a slap on the wrist," he said, calling on Premier Anna Bligh to support his plan to have boot camps for young offenders. Mr Springborg said a legal loophole that made jail a "last resort" sentence for serious and violent juvenile criminals also should be closed.

Figures in the Queensland Police annual statistical review, tabled in Parliament last week, showed more than a quarter of young burglars also walked away unpunished. Of the 1886 under-16s caught after breaking in or attempting to burgle homes, 514, or 27 per cent, got off with a caution. Another 105 had community conferencing. One in five young arsonists also escaped punishment. Only 46 out of 95 were actually arrested and charged. Queensland Police Union president Cameron Pope said officers were disturbed to see serious juvenile criminals back on the street in quick time.

Original report here. (Via Australian Politics)

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today)

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