Raising the age of detention to 14 years does not go far enough

8th Jun 2022

Plans announced today to raise the age of detention in Tasmania do not go far enough to address the issues in the youth justice system, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

“Children should only ever be detained as a last resort and no child under the age of 18 should be detained in a custody setting,” said ALA Tasmania president, Rowena Macdonald.

“Raising the age of detention from 10 to 14 needs to be a first step in a long-term strategy to phase out detention of children altogether. If a child under 18 needs to be detained they should be placed in a therapeutic setting that focuses on education and rehabilitation.

“Evidence shows that teenagers detained within the justice system are likely to reoffend and many will fail to finish their education and find employment.

“Unfortunately, we also know that children in detention are at significant risk of being sexually, physically and psychologically abused.

“We urge the Government to be bold. We need to do what is right for Tasmanian children now and into the future. Tasmania has an opportunity to lead the way in transitioning from a punitive system to a restorative system that protects and rehabilitates young offenders.”

Tags: Tasmania Youth Justice