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'No systemic issues' in Qld youth justice

AAP logoAAP 2/08/2016 By Jamie McKinnell

Queensland's attorney-general is confident the state's juvenile justice system is free from systemic problems that have prompted a royal commission into child abuse in the Northern Territory.

Revelations last week that five staff were sacked for using excessive force against juvenile detainees fuelled calls for an inquiry into the Northern Territory juvenile justice system to be extended to Queensland, or for the state to hold its own probe.

But Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath has stressed the two juvenile justice systems are "very, very different".

Notably, juvenile justice in the NT operates under the adult corrective services system, whereas in Queensland it is separate to the corrective services department.

"You cannot look at youth detention in Queensland through the prism of what happens in the Northern Territory," Ms D'Ath said.

She went on to reel off a long list of differentiating features, including multi-disciplinary teams with psychology qualifications, programs to deal with trauma care and ethical standards inspectors who visit facilities each quarter.

Community visitors also saw detainees weekly and there were anonymous complaint boxes and free access to phones, she said.

"I'm confident we don't have systemic problems," Ms D'Ath added.

"Any isolated incidents in relation to staff's behaviour, we have systems in place to investigate and to discipline and, if need be, to dismiss."

While the NT commission won't be national, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull promised to put youth detention on the agenda for the next COAG meeting of state and territory heads.

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