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Since 2015, youth justice in Queensland has been undergoing a series of changes to better support children involved in the youth justice system, including reforms to Queensland detention centres, new legislation to align youth justice age groups with other states and territories, and operational changes to the services across the state to better support initiatives.
As part of the reform activities, Robert Atkinson AO, APM, was commissioned to prepare a report for the Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, outlining key areas of intervention to consider when developing a comprehensive whole-of-government Youth Justice Strategy.
For the Youth Justice Strategy (the Strategy) to be embraced, it was
critical that government draw upon the expertise and experiences of key stakeholders, ensuring multiple stakeholder perspectives were considered when addressing youth justice issues.
The Strategy, which was released in late 2018, aims to:
- reduce the number of remanded young people in custody
- reduce reoffending among young people
- address the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in the youth justice system.
Rowland designed and delivered a consultation program for the
Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women which included providing advice on project messaging specific to stakeholder audiences, facilitating stakeholder workshops, and developing the consultation report which included a summary of activities and findings.
The engagement approach included four community-focused forums, and four topic-led expert forums in regional and rural communities, including in an Aboriginal community and low socio-economic areas.
Engagement involved more than 270 participants over an intensive eight-week period, with participants including Ministers and other members of Parliament, state and local government representatives, community members, Elders and Indigenous representatives, allied health and health providers, education and vocational training providers, human services government agency staff, Queensland Police representatives, and representatives from not-for-profit organisations, academia, and legal and justice professionals.
The findings from all engagement activities was then compiled into a comprehensive consultation report, which was used to inform the community outcomes and areas for development in the Youth Justice Strategy 2019 – 2023.
- Community and stakeholder engagement
- Strategy development