Bravehearts welcome tougher stance on child sex offenders
QUEENSLAND child protection organisation Bravehearts has welcomed the decision to introduce mandatory jail time for dangerous sex offenders who remove or tamper with their electronic monitoring bracelets.
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said on Monday five offenders have been charged with removing their devices since 2011.
"Sex offenders who remove or tamper with their bracelets will be sentenced to one year's mandatory jail time with a maximum penalty of five years in prison," he said.
"This will be a strong deterrent for offenders who abscond and it will also ensure that those who do so will go back to prison.
"It sends a strong message to sex offenders that we are watching them and that we will not tolerate any attempts to breach their conditions."
Under sweeping changes to legislation, which will be introduced into State Parliament later this year, Mr Bleijie said offenders who procure a child or a person with an impairment of the mind for prostitution would also face increased penalties.
"The kind of people who would exploit innocent children and people with mental disabilities deserve tough sentences," he said.
"The maximum penalty will be increased from 14 years in prison to 20 years.
"The offence will also be classified as a serious violent offence meaning an offender will have to serve 80% of their sentence before being eligible for parole."
Bravehearts research and policy manager Carol Ronken said the proposed changes were definitely a step in the right direction.
"We are extremely supportive of the Queensland Government's policies in relation to sex offenders," she said.
"Generally the people who wear monitoring bracelets are the worst of the worst anyway.
"If they want to remove their bracelets then clearly they have ulterior motives for doing so and it raises a huge red flag."
Premier Campbell Newman said he "absolutely" endorsed proposed changes to the legislation.
"Queenslanders expect stronger protections for our kids and that is exactly what we are determined to do," he said.