Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie Tom Huntley

Boot camp operator's contract cancelled after escapes

THE group operating a controversial court-ordered boot camp for young people near Cairns have had their contracts cancelled by Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie after offenders escaped earlier this year.

In April a pair of teenagers escaped from the camp after threatening staff with a knife.

After first allegedly failing to steal a car, the 13-year-old boy and 14-year-old girl were believed to have robbed a 59-year-old woman in the nearby town of Kuranda.

Mr Bleijie gave camp operators Safe Pathways a week to explain, but in a statement on Tuesday, he said the explanation was not good enough and the agreement dumped.

On Tuesday, he called for interest from groups wanting to develop a new camp in the Cairns area.

"This won't be a holiday camp," Mr Bleijie said.

"The sentenced youth boot camp will see prolific young offenders take responsibility for their behaviour and participate in a program that addresses the causes of their offending."

The two-year trial will handle 20 young people each year, less than two per month.

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