Repairing, as best we can, the epidemic of broken homes should be part of youth crime prevention strategies.

While no family is perfect, encouraging the conditions in which families can thrive will lessen the incidence of fatherless homes – a known factor in youth crime, incarceration rates and poor educational outcomes.

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The Queensland Government Statistician’s Office this week released a report which showed the number of young criminals in Queensland jumping 5.2 per cent to 11,191 offenders, with 11 of those charged with murder.

Family First believes an audit should be conducted to see how many of the 11,191 offenders came from two parent homes.

This is of course not to condemn single parents or suggest that many do not do a good job raising children, it is just a fact that in-tact families with a married mother and father have a massive head start statistically when it comes to positive outcomes for children.

In a feature article last September, Time Magazine summarised what has been known for decades, but because of political correctness and cancel culture, rarely discussed.

The evidence is clear, even if the punchline is uncomfortable: children are more likely to thrive— behaviorally and academically, and ultimately in the labor market and adult life—if they grow up with the advantages of a two-parent home. Numerous academic studies confirm that children raised in married parent homes are less likely to get in trouble in school or with the law; they are more likely to graduate high school and college; they are more likely to have higher income and be married themselves as adults. Research suggests that boys are especially disadvantaged by the absence of dads from their homes. These facts are indisputable.

Family First recognises that the problem of youth crime cannot be dealt with in isolation to the problem of family breakdown.

What is happening, or not happening, in Queensland homes has a direct impact on what is happening on the streets.

The Unlucky Country - Zimmermann & Moens

Here’s what the Courier Mail reported this week:

The statistics showed a shockingly young offenders aged between 10 and 17 committed 10,873 break-ins, triple the number of the closest other offender group of 18-24.

The report also revealed the cohort committed 4,041 assaults, 514 sexual offences and 1,347 robberies.

Overall there was a staggering 11.2 per cent increase in Queensland’s crime rate in 2022-23 compared to the year before, with 11,089 offences committed per 100,000 people.

The number of crime victims also soared to 61,458 unique people, marking a 16.7 per cent increase in victim numbers per 100,000 people.

This spike was driven in part by increased property crime with the data showing there were more than 51,000 break-ins in 2022-23, representing one in every 12 offences.

The youth crime wave is of course not restricted to Queensland – most Australian states are suffering with wall-to-wall Labor Government’s unwilling to police crime properly.

Politicians of all persuasions sadly can’t define a woman, so they are paralysed when trying to define the best family structure for children.

This means family-friendly policy is difficult because no one knows what to focus on.

Family First is committed to family policy that promotes heterosexual marriage so children, wherever possible, have the opportunity to experience the love of both mother and father.

Not all family breakdown can be prevented, but much of it can with determination and focus.

One of the biggest contributors to family breakdown is financial pressure. That’s why Family First is committed to tax reforms, such as income splitting, to make it easier for families to raise their children in the best way they see fit.

Strong families build strong communities which in turn build strong nations.

It’s in the national interest to prioritise family policy.

Family First is fielding candidates at the up-coming Queensland election who will advocate for family policy as an essential part of youth crime strategy.

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Lyle Shelton is National Director of the Family First Party. He started his career as a rural journalist before being elected as a member of the Toowoomba City Council and serving the Australian Christian Lobby for 10 years, half of that decade as ACL's Managing Director. He was a Director and spokesman for the Coalition for Marriage during the 2017 postal survey campaign which resulted in the legal undefinition of marriage. He also blogs here.

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