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Sisters Inside CEO Debbie Kilroy is urging the State Government to back away from its ‘tough on youth crime’ policy agenda before it is too late.

With the Queensland Palaszczuk government expected to attempt to legislate its youth crime 10 point plan this week, Ms Kilroy said it was not too late for the Government to listen.

“We need to call this what it is – an attack on children,” Ms Kilroy said.

“Children, and in this case the majority are Aboriginal children, cannot defend themselves so they are being used as a political pawn in this draconian law and order debate.”

Ms Kilroy said the Queensland Government was insinuating it had the appropriate strategies in place to accompany the results of high visibility policy – “it does not”.

“The real question is why won’t Government fund solutions driven by community – solutions that already exist,” Ms Kilroy said.

“They have tried relying on cops, courts and prisons for centuries – it does not create safer communities and it never will.”

Ms Kilroy said taxpayers’ money had been wasted for too long funding “failed, repeated carceral responses”.

“I have lived through six decades of the same failed responses and successive governments not willing to do anything different – not willing to implement plans and policy that actually support children.”

She said the initiatives proposed by the Government now and in the past had never been appropriate to cope with the outcomes of charging a multitude of disadvantaged children and young people with various offences.

“You don’t jail children,” Ms Kilroy said.

“It is pathetic and it is not okay to think it is delivering justice to community or safer communities when you are violating and traumatising children. This plan will only ensure harm for everyone.”

Ms Kilroy said there was also a massive oversight in recognising the factors that contributed to a young person or child being labelled as criminal, deviant or antisocial.

“The policy agenda lacks the insight First Nations’ communities and experts have been sharing with Government for years,” Ms Kilroy

“Every statement by the Palaszczuk Government and police has identified their reactionary strategy to isolate criminalised youth from their support networks within community, which will encourage the need to deny a child bail, deny adequate health support and support through the family policing system.”

“This policy agenda is criminal.”

Ms Kilroy called on the Government to delay legislating on the 10 point plan and to consult further with community and experts on developing a community-driven, holistic, research-based agenda.

Sisters Inside is an independent community organisation based in Queensland, which advocates for the collective human rights of women and children in prison, and their families, and provides services to address their individual needs. 

Learn more about Sisters Inside here: sistersinside.com.au

Debbie Kilroy: 0419 762 474


How can you help?

The Sisters Inside Fund for Children supports children of women in the criminal justice system to choose their own future free of the burdens so commonly felt while their mother is in prison.

#Free Her Campaign

This campaign has been set up by Debbie Kilroy, CEO of Sisters Inside Inc.  The funds raised will be used to release people from prison and pay warrants so they are not imprisoned.