A large crowd gathered at the Cairns Community Crime Forum held at Cazalys on Monday night. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS
A large crowd gathered at the Cairns Community Crime Forum held at Cazalys on Monday night. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS

LNP jail-run program for serious offenders a possibility

HARDENED young criminals serving time in detention could be made to do "something productive" while inside under an LNP government - although they were yet to figure out what that might be.

Speaking at a crime forum held in Cairns on Monday night, Opposition police spokesman Trevor Watts was faced with queries from the crowd about jailed youths being put to work.

He said he had been considering the issue for two years although the party was yet to arrive at a "definitive position".

LNP Barron River candidate Linda Cooper sits on the panel of the Cairns Community Crime Forum with LNP police spokesman Trevor Watts, Cairns LNP candidate Sam Marino and Crime and Justice Action Group spokesman Aaron McLeod. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS
LNP Barron River candidate Linda Cooper sits on the panel of the Cairns Community Crime Forum with LNP police spokesman Trevor Watts, Cairns LNP candidate Sam Marino and Crime and Justice Action Group spokesman Aaron McLeod. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS

"What happens inside that Corrective Service system is something we will look at," he said.

"I think there is an opportunity for us with the hardest, the most recidivist, of these juveniles in particular for them to look at going and doing something that is productive.

"At the end of the day they're citizens of Australia and we're going to have to make sure they're good ones."

He said programs already existed in the community, including the Clontarf Foundation, which worked with young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males in school, for less serious offenders.

 

A Cairns Community Crime Forum held on Monday night attracted about 300 concerned residents. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS
A Cairns Community Crime Forum held on Monday night attracted about 300 concerned residents. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS

The LNP yesterday slammed the five-step plan put forward by the State Government to tackle increasing crime rates - particularly in Cairns and Townsville. Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mander labelled it "a joke".

The LNP announced last week it would repeal the Youth Justice Act amendment made by Labor last year and reinstate breach of bail as an offence for juveniles.

"What's irresponsible at the moment is there are kids roaming the streets and terrorising residents," Mr Mander said.

"These young offenders who repeatedly just snub their nose at the law … need to be detained if they're terrorising the public."