Children, Youth and Families Amendment (Youth Offenders) Bill 2016 (7.12.2016)

Written on the 3 February 2017

7 December 2016

COUNCIL

Second reading

Statement of compatibility

GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB - Southern Metropolitan)

 

I move:

That the bill be now read a second time.

This bill amends the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 to implement legislative reforms to strengthen the youth justice system.

 

The opposition is taking action while the Andrews government dithers in the face of a youth justice crisis.

The bill will require the Youth Parole Board to make community safety the paramount consideration in parole-making decisions.

Daniel Andrews and the Labor government have lost control with skyrocketing crime rates. Riots within youth justice centres have been occurring on a regular basis under Daniel Andrews. The Melbourne youth justice facility in Parkville has been trashed by a hardened cohort of young offenders who have no regard for the law, who do not fear any consequence for their actions, nor do they have any regard for community safety.

Crime statistics agency data shows that there is a significant problem with youth recidivist offenders in Victoria and community safety is at risk.

There were 2380 offenders aged between 10 and 24 who committed 610 incidents for a total of 17 798 offender incidents in 201516, an average of 7 incidents per offender.

The most extreme group of repeat offenders, 1695 young offenders aged 10 to 24, are those who committed 11 or more offender incidents during the year.

These recidivist offenders were responsible for 32 592 incidents last year, a shocking average of 19 incidents per offender.

There are many consequences of this youth crime wave, including the victims who have to live with the psychological and physical trauma of these crimes.

Whilst the youth crime wave continues the Andrews Labor government has no plan to address this crisis.

The bill will enshrine community safety as the paramount consideration in Youth Parole Board decisions.

As well, the transparency of the Youth Parole Board will be increased with the requirement for it to report annually on the number of convictions for serious offences by offenders on parole.

I commend the bill to the house.

Debate adjourned on motion of Ms SYMES (Northern Victoria).

Debate adjourned until next day.

 

Children, Youth and Families Amendment (Youth Offenders) Bill 2016

7 December 2016

COUNCIL

Statement of compatibility

GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB - Southern Metropolitan) tabled following statement in accordance with Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006:

In accordance with section 28 of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (charter act), I make this statement of compatibility with respect to the Children, Youth and Families Amendment (Youth Offenders) Bill 2016.

In my opinion, the Children, Youth and Families Amendment (Youth Offenders) Bill 2016 as introduced to the Legislative Council is compatible with the human rights protected by the charter act. I base my opinion on the reasons outlined in this statement.

Overview of bill

The purpose of the bill is to amend the Children, Youth and Families Amendment (Youth Offenders) Bill 2016 to provide that for the Youth Parole Board, the safety and protection of the community is the paramount consideration in determining whether a person is granted parole or to revoke a parole order; and to require the Youth Parole Board to include in its annual report the number of persons who have committed serious offences while released on parole.

Human rights issues

Human rights protected by the charter act that are relevant to the bill.

Right to privacy disclosure of the number of persons convicted during the period of a serious offence committed while released on parole by the Youth Parole Board.

Section 13(a) of the charter act provides that a person has the right not to have his or her privacy unlawfully or arbitrarily interfered with.

The information that will be disclosed in the Youth Parole Board annual report in relation to the number of offences committed by individuals subject to a parole order issued by the Youth Parole Board will be statistical only and won't disclose the names of individuals. Therefore, in my view, clause 3 of the bill does not limit the right to privacy as it does not amount to an interference with privacy that is either unlawful or arbitrary.

Clause 4 of the bill will make the safety and protecting of the community the paramount consideration for the Youth Parole Board in determining whether to grant or revoke a parole order. In my opinion, this clause does not engage the rights set out in the charter act.

Section 17 of the charter act provides that ensure that children are able to be protected this right is not engaged as the intention of the bill is to increase the safety of the broader community, of which children form a significant cohort. Moreover, for those children applying for parole, their ability to be granted parole will remain, with the added legislative direction that this bill contains.

I consider that if there are limitations of charter rights, those limitations would be reasonable and demonstrably justified pursuant to section 7(2) of the charter act.

Ms Georgie Crozier
Member for Southern Metropolitan Region

 


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