The Katter's Australian Party has outlined the key points of its relocation sentencing policy.
Speaking in Townsville on Thursday party leader Robbie Katter and Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto said theirs was a robust proposal to take immediate steps to reverse North Queensland escalating crime rates.
The KAP wants to introduce mandatory minimum sentencing for repeat offenders, and an immediate trial of the KAP's Relocation Sentencing policy which they say will create a circuit-breaker in the youth crime cycle.
Relocation sentencing, which the government does not support, puts offenders to work in a remote location as a third court alternative to jail or bail.
The state government instead is pushing its On Country program targetting repeat offenders and those without supervision and where elders would take kids out for the day and educate them on culture and their background.
The Mona Aboriginal Corporation won the contract to deliver the Mount Isa On Country program for four years back in July.
And while Robbie Katter has been a fan of Mona programs in the past, he says the On Country program will not work, saying none of the 82 participants have finished the six-week program since it started.
"The 'On-Country' program, has been a widely-reported abject failure and is just the watered-down poor cousin to the meaningful change that's needed to make the community safe," Mr Katter said.
Mr Dametto said mandatory minimum sentencing for adult offenders who committed violent or repeat property crimes was needed to ensure judges could not treat such offences lightly.
"Adult offenders found guilty of a crime like carjacking or unlawful use of a motor vehicle should face at least three years in prison, over-riding the current maximum penalty for unlawful motor vehicle use of seven years, which no judge is enforcing," he said.
Mr Katter said Relocation Sentencing would provide a third sentencing option other than detention or releasing offenders back on to the streets, immediately relocating offenders to a remote facility 800km west of Townsville.
"The facility would operate on minimum costs and work closely with Indigenous Elders and youth workers to help offenders develop key life skills and receive the best shot at a successful future," he said.
Keys points of the KAP Relocation Sentencing Policy:
1 Applies to young repeat offenders aged 10-17 who have been identified as 'at-risk' of recidivism and have a demonstrated history of escalating criminality
2 Provides alternative sentencing (and/or bail arrangement) options to magistrates/judges when dealing with these offenders
3 These alternative sentencing options include 'on-country' programs in a remote and approved location. Ankle bracelets would be used for added security but security would largely be maintained through distance and isolation
4 An incentive system based on points and certificate awards would allow the offenders to feel a sense of achievement. This would include qualifications towards things such as a windmill technician, master butcher or stockman, but would not be limited to primary industries
5 The ultimate goal of Relocation Sentencing is to provide these children with life skills, education and a sense of purpose not available to them on the streets or in juvenile detention facilities
6 It would be available to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous children and programs would draw heavily on the involvement and teachings of First Australian Elders
7 The KAP has identified a series of possible facility locations in North West Queensland such as Lake Julius (north of Mount Isa). It is envisioned multiple locations will be established across the state in strategic areas
8 The program is designed to be the ultimate 'circuit-breaker' for repeat young offenders who are likely to re-offend if returned to the streets and are at-risk of further "criminalisation" if incarcerated at juvenile detention centres
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