The Queensland government plans to introduce controversial laws next year that will allow juvenile criminals to be named and shamed.
Source:
AAP
26 Sep 2013 - 10:44 AM  UPDATED 26 Sep 2013 - 4:18 PM

Queensland will push ahead with its plan to name and shame repeat child offenders despite concerns it could be counterproductive.

The Newman government says it will amend laws that protect juvenile criminals' identity next year to enable the names of children as young as 10 to be revealed if they commit a second offence.

This comes after a survey released in July found strong community support for such measures.

Civil liberty groups, however, argue there's plenty of evidence that shows naming and shaming does not work but instead encourages juvenile crime.

A 2008 NSW parliamentary committee report found anecdotal evidence of children at risk of becoming career offenders who enjoyed the publicity.

Experts told the committee it encouraged other children to compete for notoriety "by committing more and more serious offences".

The Queensland Council for Civil Liberties spokesman Michael Cope says it either becomes a badge of honour or an alienating stigma.

"And in the Northern Territory, it was found kids were being harassed on the streets and schools and it prevented them from getting back on the straight and narrow," Mr Cope said.

Mr Bleijie said the laws will act as a strong deterrent and are part of a reform package that includes bootcamps to help stop reoffending.

"We are balancing the scales of justice by making repeat offenders more accountable but allowing first-time offenders to get back on the straight and narrow," he said.

The NT is the only jurisdiction in the country that allows youth offenders to be named.

North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency advocacy manager Jared Sharp says he's found most NT media outlets self-regulate and often don't report the name of child offenders.

Even so, he said naming and shaming laws aren't a solution.

"In New Zealand, they have family group conferencing where you get to the bottom of why the child is getting into trouble and what issues they are facing," he said.

"A plan is put in place to tackle those issues and the court monitors if they young person is performing those tasks."

He said NZ has fewer than 100 kids in detention out of a population of four million.

"We have half as many kids in detention out of 200,000 people," he said.

Mr Cope said more support for low-income families and long-term unemployed parents would also help tackle the root of youth crime.