Relocation sentencing to curb vigilantism
RISING instances of vigilantism against juvenile offenders in North Queensland would be curbed if Katter’s Australian Party’s relocation sentencing policy was introduced, says Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto.
Mr Dametto said he was concerned by recent media reports which painted a grim picture of the lack of safety on Townsville’s streets that had led to a growing number of vigilantes being recruited through social media.
“I’m not saying I support vigilantism, but I do appreciate that when you’ve got a crime crisis as bad as the one in Townsville, people feel like they have no other choice. The police are doing all they can but its Labor’s soft on crime, slap-on-the-wrist system that is failing to keep these repeat youth offenders off our streets,” he said.
“We need to deescalate this situation and the KAP’s relocation sentencing policy is designed to do just that. It’s time to get these kids out of town, out of their toxic environments and give them a chance to reform while incarcerated. The current system has failed them. Modern day youth detention is not working.
“We need to have a fundamental shift in our approach to youth justice. We need to stop fluffing around the edges on this.”
Under the KAP’s policy, offenders as young as 10 would be doing six to 12 months on a remote property near Mount Isa where they would build self-respect, respect for others and discipline while learning valuable life skills.
Creature comforts, such as a smart phones, television or video game consoles, would be banned and mine site style donga accommodation would make up a large part of the facility.
Along with operating on minimum costs, the KAP’s proposed relocation sentencing facility will enable young offenders to develop key life skills such as trade and agricultural work.
The centre would operate in close cooperation with indigenous elders and professional youth workers to ensure offenders had the best shot possible at a productive and crime-free future following their release.
“Most importantly, relocation sentencing would remove the offenders from the communities they had previously targeted and away from the negative influences that led to their criminality,” Mr Dametto said.
“By getting these kids out of town and on the right path, we can increase public safety, reduce crime rates and restore a sense pride back in our communities.”