Controversial boot camps once branded an "expensive failure" should be revisited, according to former premier Campbell Newman who says his government's program offered youth offenders a "taste of challenge and excitement".

The former premier has hit out at Labor for "unravelling" measures that were introduced when he was in power, as he argued that the State needed to get young offenders into innovative programs.

The boot camps were trialled by the former LNP Government, but were ultimately dumped by Labor in 2015 with then-Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath branding them an "expensive failure".

Mr Newman said the boot camps had been done in an "experimental way", and said that they showed "great promise".

Former Queensland Premier Campbell Newman. Picture: Jack Tran
Former Queensland Premier Campbell Newman. Picture: Jack Tran

"I think that's something that should be revisited," he said.

"I'm not advocating incarceration. I'm advocating for new things to be tried."

Mr Newman said a boot camp environment offered young offenders "good role models" and gave them a "taste of challenge and excitement".

"But also an environment where they've literally got to work hard to achieve some outcomes, positive outcomes. Well, that's beneficial," he said.

"We need to get people into programs which are innovative and … trying new things, rather than going down the well-trodden path of the left who are into pats on the back."

Youth Justice Minister Leanne Linard yesterday described the boot camps as "yet another expensive LNP failure".

"The 2015 KPMG report (into the boot camps) found the programs were expensive, ineffective and poorly planned," Ms Linard said.

"Data shows that of the 74 young people in the LNP's Sentenced Youth Boot Camp program, 47 - or 63.5 per cent - have reoffended. That's no different to other forms of detention."

She said boot camps were "neither evidence-based nor are they backed by experts."

Youth Justice Minister Leanne Linard. Picture: Dan Peled
Youth Justice Minister Leanne Linard. Picture: Dan Peled

Mr Newman insisted the measures introduced by his government to deal with young criminals were "tough".

"The Labor party has spent the last six years unravelling and putting things back in their own image," he said.

"The Labor party got rid of it (boot camps) because they didn't like it purely on ideological grounds."

Prior to the October state election, the LNP had promised to fund five "Community Payback Farms", where children released from youth detention would learn new skills and develop self-discipline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Bring back boot camps for kid crims: Newman


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