Report on Youth Justice from Special Advisor, Bob Atkinson, to Minister Farmer

On 12 February 2018, Mr Robert (Bob) Atkinson AO was appointed Special Advisor to the Honourable Di Farmer MP, who was then Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women, and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence.

Mr Atkinson was asked to examine and report on a series of youth justice matters by 8 June 2018, and to advise on:

  1. Progress of the government's youth justice reforms, and next steps
  2. Other measures to reduce recidivism
  3. Recommendations for youth detention stemming from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.

This report (PDF, 826KB) addresses the first 2 terms of reference while the third is addressed by the Queensland Government Response to the Royal Commission.

Understanding the report: the Four Pillars

The key finding and recommendation is that the Queensland Government as a whole adopt 4 pillars as its policy position for youth justice. 'The Four Pillars' are objectives framed by 2 fundamental principles:

  • that public safety is paramount
  • that community confidence is critical.

The Four Pillars guiding the report are:

  1. Intervene early
  2. Keep children out of court
  3. Keep children out of custody
  4. Reduce reoffending.

The report includes 31 papers and 77 recommendations to improve the youth justice system and address the causes of offending.

In December 2018, the government responded to this report through the release of the Working Together Changing the Story: Youth Justice Strategy 2019–2023 (PDF, 1.2MB), as well as the Government Response to the Atkinson Report on Youth Justice (DOCX, 719KB).

Last updated 28 June 2024

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