Embarrassing youth with name and shame laws not the answer

YOUTH crime in Queensland is falling at a fairly rapid rate, more than 7% year-on-year and more than 8% the year before that.

Despite this, the Queensland Government plans to introduce "tough new laws" to deal with juvenile offenders, including draconian "name and shame" provisions presumably based on the idea that embarrassment and humiliation are the best ways to create successful citizens.

A professor of criminology and criminal justice at Griffith University, Ross Homel, told Fairfax Media the proposals had been designed "entirely without any research evidence".

What we are seeing is the tendency to view the past in a more positive light as we get older writ large as government policy, essentially politicians attempting to reclaim a golden age that never existed.

It is time for politicians, and the rest of society for that matter, to get the message: the "next generation" has been leading us straight to hell for about 2000 years now, and still we progress rapidly as a society, an economy and as humanity.

Baby Boomers were going to ruin the world because they abandoned the austerity and reserve of their war and depression-hardened parents.

Gen X wasted their lives watching TV and are bitter because they don't, and mostly won't, rule the world.

Gen Y is useless because it is so self-centred and can't stick to anything hard for more than five minutes.

And God knows what Gen Z wants ... they won't take their heads out of their phones long enough to grunt in answer to our questions.

Here's an idea....how about individualising when it comes to youth crime and youth issues instead of once again dismissing the likely future success of an entire generation?

Why don't we ask ourselves the question "how can I help"?

Half of all juvenile offences last year were committed by 10% of offenders, representing 0.01% of the youth population. And the government thinks embarrassment is the solution?

How about properly funding youth and family support services? How about readily available and properly funded intervention services? How about doubling the amount of money spent on rehabilitation of offenders (young AND old)?

It is long past time for humanity to return to our justice system before we go too far down the American path of punitive punishment that does nothing but ruin lives, destroy communities and cost buckets and buckets of money.

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