Statistics shed light on youth offender sentencing

Only one in 10 young people who appear before the Cairns Children’s Court are sentenced to detention, new figures have revealed.

The data, covering the year to February 2019, shows 1,225 children went before the Magistrate in Cairns and 123 were sent to youth detention, with an average sentence of five years.

Of the remaining cases:

• 227 young people were put on probation
• 163 were given community service orders
• 299 were given other non-custodial sentences, which could include graffiti removal and supervision from youth justice officers.
• The rest were given fines and mandatory program participation

Tropic Now sought the statistics from the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General’s office in response to community concerns that youth sentencing is too lenient and young criminals are ‘running the town’.

The latest incident occurred overnight, with four girls aged between 12 and 15 picked up by CBD police over bag snatches involving four female international tourists.