Minimum detention age change good start but must go further

Tasmanian Labor

decision to raise the minimum age of detention in Tasmania from 10 to 14 is a
welcome start but must be expanded to raise the age of criminal responsibility
to really make a difference.

government’s decision and promise of a shift to a more therapeutic approach is
a positive commitment to an increased focus on prevention and early

it ignores the bigger issue, which is the failure of the Attorney General to
act on raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14.

the minimum age of detention will not alter the fact that children as young as
10 can be arrested, held and detained, despite clear evidence that this is the
wrong approach.

have long called for the age of criminal responsibility to be raised to 14,
with evidence showing young people need therapeutic support and that the
younger they are when they have their first brush with the law, the more likely
they are to continue offending.

Attorney General Elise Archer told Estimates Hearings on Monday that she was
waiting for a national decision, with the Meeting of Attorneys General (MAG)
considering raising the age of criminal responsibility to 12.

this would be a massive misstep that would not address the core issue. The
government does not have to wait for a national decision. There is nothing
stopping Tasmania from acting right now to raise the age of criminal

There is no doubt people should be held responsible for criminal offending but children aged younger than 14 should not be in the criminal justice system.

Ella Haddad MP

Shadow Attorney General

Sarah Lovell MLC

Shadow Minister for Child Safety

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