The system that needs bailing out

The system that needs bailing out

The O’Farrell government was elected with a commitment to reduce the number of young people in juvenile justice centres but its punitive graffiti measures appear to run contrary to that (‘‘Diluted graffiti bill ratified’’, August 22).

This bill restricts the ability of police to issue cautions. Young people will be sent straight to court. In the absence of any reform of bail laws, this means that more young people will be held on remand in juvenile justice centres across New South Wales.

Every day, almost half the daily population of juvenile justice centres in New South Wales are being held on remand, yet only four out of five young people receive a custodial sentence.

As long as the current bail laws are in place, there are young people in detention who should not be. The new graffiti laws will only exacerbate that. It is time the New South Wales government abandoned punitive justice policies that do not work, and enacted genuine reform.

Karen Bevan, UnitingCare Children, Croydon

Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday, August 23, 2012

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