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LNP announces Adult Crime, Adult Time plan for youth crime reform

8th July 2024


The LNP has today released a major policy of its Making our Community Safer plan, announcing youth offenders committing serious crimes will receive adult sentences.

The Adult Crime, Adult Time policy will restore consequences for actions with youth offenders held accountable for their crimes, with the ability to receive the same sentences as adults committing the same crimes.

The tough on crime policy will form part of the LNP’s Making Queensland Safer Laws and focus on serious crimes impacting victims including:  

  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Serious harm like wounding
  • Home and business break-ins and robbery
  • Stealing cars and dangerous operation of vehicles

The policy adds to the LNP’s previously announced changes to the Youth Justice Act which will be rolled out before year-end, including, removing “detention as a last resort”, and enshrining in legislation the rights of victims ahead of offenders’ rights.

LNP Leader David Crisafulli said Adult Crime, Adult Time would bring back consequences for actions and send a clear message to youth offenders they will serve serious time for their crimes.

“Youth criminals have been running riot through our communities, knowing there are no consequences and little punishment for serious crime, but this will end under the LNP’s Adult Crime, Adult Time plan,” Mr Crisafulli said.

“The LNP will restore consequences for actions to our youth crime laws and send a strong message that if you commit a serious crime you will pay with adult time.

“This is the tough on crime response Queenslanders have been pleading for, while Labor has repeatedly refused to listen.

“Adult Crime, Adult Time is not only about keeping dangerous criminals off our streets, it’s also about sending a strong message to deter youth from committing the crime.

“We know when adult sentences kick in, the rate of offenders committing crimes like robbery and breaking into homes with intent dramatically drop-off, which suggests sentences are a major deterrent for crime.

“Nearly a decade ago Labor watered-down our youth crime laws, creating a generation of hardcore youth criminals who know they don’t face consequences for their crimes.

“Labor’s actions have emboldened youth offenders to terrorise our communities without any impact for their crimes.

“If you violate the sanctity of someone’s home, breaking in and robbing them, you should receive adult time.

“Queenslanders have been aghast at hardened youth offenders who repeatedly commit serious crimes and have never been sentenced to a night in detention.

“When someone loses their life to a youth crime, or are seriously wounded, they should be assured these offenders will face the same tough sentences as an adult would.

“After a decade in government, Labor will say and do anything in their desperation to cling to power, but Queenslanders know they can’t trust Labor on crime.

“Their actions created the Youth Crime Crisis, they’ve refused to acknowledge it, and after a decade Labor just won’t fix it.”

The LNP would amend the Youth Justice Act to have youth offenders sentenced under the Criminal Code. 

An expert panel with representatives from law enforcement, the legal fraternity and victims groups would be created in government to assess which other offences should be included.

The LNP has previously outlined the Making our Community Safer plan will include:

  • Delivering gold standard intervention programs to divert young people away from lives of crime.
  • Putting victims front and centre of youth justice, with better rights and a priority on supporting victims.
  • Providing victims automatic updates relating to their cases, removing the burden on victims to seek-out information about their cases.
  • Removing detention as a last resort to unshackle the courts and deliver sentences in line with community expectations.
  • The Staying on Track program, which will provide up to 12-months of intensive support for youth transitioning back into the community after detention.
  • Reopening the Children’s Court, removing the provision excluding victims and their families from Children’s Court on the basis of prejudice to offenders and allowing greater media scrutiny.
  • Fixing the broken residential care and child safety systems, to stop the pipeline into youth crime.

Only the LNP has the Right Priorities for Queensland’s Future, including making our community safer.