More than half of young offenders subject to sentence supervision in Queensland were back in contact with the criminal justice system within 12 months, new data shows.
Close to 57 per cent of Queenslanders aged 10 to 16 at the time of release returned to some form of sentence supervision within a year in 2019-20, the Productivity Commission figures released on Tuesday show.
The rate is the highest among all jurisdictions , but continued a downward trend over the previous two years that peaked at 65 per cent in 2017-18.
The numbers come as the state government pledges that new laws designed to drive down youth crime will take priority when parliament returns in February.
Programs delivered in detention are an opportunity to intervene in the cycle of reoffending, but delays in the court system are affecting access, Deputy Premier Steven Miles said.
Many offenders are spending so much time on remand that they've already served their penalty by the time they're sentenced, he told reporters on Tuesday.
"That's one of the reasons we want to see sentences occur faster, so that our staff in those youth detention centres can deliver those programs," he said.
"When those programs get completed, they are effective, they do help young people change their lives."
Opposition leader David Crisafulli said the state was failing children at "both ends of the spectrum".
"We are failing them early on, and they're drifting into a life of crime, by not giving them employment and education and aspiration," he said.
"Likewise, we're failing them at the other end when they're repeat hardcore offenders."
The productivity commission figures also show Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were vastly over represented in Queensland youth detention centres in 2021-22.
For 10 to 13 year olds, the rate was almost 42 children per 10,000, compared to 1.1 for non indigenous children.
In the 14 to 17-year-old age group, the figure was almost 267 per 10,000, compared to 14.2.
The rates are calculated from the number of young people on an average day against the estimated population as of the end of the year.
Ms Palaszczuk announced a plan targeting young offenders following the stabbing death of mother-of-two Emma Lovell during an alleged home invasion late last year.
The premier on Monday said new laws were being drafted and would be introduced when parliament returns in February.
"Some of these young people have complex backgrounds and ... we need to help break that cycle of crime," she said.
The plan includes longer prison terms for car thieves, increased penalties for those who boast about crime on social media and judges will have to take the histories of child offenders into account when deciding on bail applications.