It is not uncommon to see victims seriously harmed by individuals aged under eighteen years, and often operating in gangs. These crimes are often no less serious and no less intentional than a crime committed by an older person.

For those  who suggest that mandatory jail terms will deprive such individual’s of their most fundamental rights I suggest you consider the fundamental rights of the victims who are often left permanently physically and psychologically impaired.

Furthermore, to suggest that the courts would not take into account issues such as mental illness in sentencing of young offenders is nonsensical.

Changes to these law will  hopefully encourage individuals under the age of eighteen years to consider that their anti-social behaviours will no longer be tolerated and that they will be appropriately punished.  The only thing that the state government needs to ensure is that this message is clearly passed on and understood by this population group.

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