146 stuffed toys behind bars out the front of Queensland Parliament House. For each teddy there is a child under 14 behind bars in Queensland

Submission to the Queensland Productivity Commission Inquiry on Imprisonment and Recidivism

The Queensland Government asked the Queensland Productivity Commission to undertake an inquiry to determine how government resources and policies may be best used to reduce imprisonment and recidivism to improve outcomes for the community.

Amnesty International Australia submitted to the inquiry into imprisonment and recidivism focused on and making recommendations to go towards ending the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the Queensland youth justice system.

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The submission makes fourteen recommendations regarding:

  • the serious human rights concern regarding the very high rates of children being held in prison unsentenced on remand
  • the need to adhere to international standards and raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility to fourteen
  • strengthening justice reinvestment in Queensland
  • ensuring that mandatory sentencing not be adopted in Queensland, and
  • developing targeted early intervention programs similar to those in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
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Joel Clark is a Government Relations Adviser at Amnesty International Australia.