Youth Justice Act 1992 Amendments - New Grants of Aid

Recent amendments to the Youth Justice Act 1992 established a framework to transfer detainees (on remand or sentenced) who have reached 18 years of age from youth detention to an adult correctional centre. The framework provides for detainees to apply for a delay of their transfer to adult custody and applies to detainees who have been sentenced and detainees on remand. The framework requires initial advice, a written submission to Youth Justice, further legal advice, and if applicable, a review of the decision of the Chief Executive (YJ) to the Childrens Court of Queensland.

The Department of Youth Justice, Employment, Small Business and Training (DYJESBT) has provided Legal Aid Queensland (LAQ) with additional funding, to 31 October 2024, for LAQ to provide legal assistance to those in detention centres who will fall under the new transfer to corrective services framework included in ss276A – 276K of the Youth Justice Act 1992.

This funding from DYJESBT will be used to establish grants of legal assistance to ensure that 18-year-olds receive access to legal advice and representation to meet the requirements under the new transfer framework, initiated by either the service of a Prison Transfer Notice (for those on remand) or Prison Transfer Direction (for those serving a sentence of detention).

Where a detainee who is on remand in a youth detention centre (and in receipt of a current grant of legal assistance from LAQ) receives a Prison Transfer Notice, a solicitor only grant of legal assistance will be available for the detainee to seek initial advice, to talk to their current lawyer about the transfer, and for the lawyer to make submissions for a temporary delay of transfer to adult custody if instructed to do so. Once a decision has been made by the Chief Executive (YJ), the grant of aid also provides for the lawyer to provide additional advice following the decision. A further extension of aid is also available where a detainee instructs to make an application to the Childrens Court of Queensland for a review the decision of the Chief Executive (YJ).

Where a detainee has been sentenced and receives a Prison Transfer Direction, the detainee may be supported through the initial stages of the process by the Prisoners’ Legal Service, a CLC or ATSILS. If required a new application can be submitted to LAQ for funding through these services to instruct counsel to represent a detainee in the Childrens Court of Queensland for a review of the decision of the Chief Executive (YJ).

For further information about the process and available grants and requirements, please refer to the Grants Handbook or contact your Grants Team