Queensland leads the country when it comes to jailing children.

An Amnesty International report (available here, in PDF form) has reviewed the practices of the state's two youth detention centres in Townsville and Brisbane, revealing that Queensland has the country's highest proportion of 10 and 11-year-old prisoners.

“This flies in the face of the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” she said.

“And these are little kids, who most of them are probably thinking about their first sleepover, not being sent to a detention centre.

“So the fact that Queensland is topping the table is something they need to address, and need to address straight away.”

Amnesty says the Government should increase the age of criminal responsibility to 12 years, so that the younger children would not end up in detention.

Queensland also has the highest percentage of kids in detention on remand at 83 per cent, and currently holds 49 children aged 17 years old in adult prisons.

Ms Mallinson said one way to reduce these figures is through prevention and diversionary programs.

Some such programs have had success rates of up to 100 per cent in keeping young Indigenous people from returning to detention, particular those led by Aboriginal people.

Randal Ross runs the Red Dust Healing program, which takes young offenders from Townsville’s Cleveland Youth Detention Centre out bush.

“Many of our people are suffering from the trans-generational hurts that have been passed through the generations and that's why it's important that we have to go back to healing, healing our peoples,” he told the ABC.

“You know they've never asked to be abandoned, they've never asked to grow up without a father, they've never asked to grow up in that abusive environment.”

Mr Ross says that at the Cleveland centre, only 8 out of 40 young people had reoffended after the program, which costs less than half of the $1,400 per day spent keeping them behind bars.

“[But] every time we go back to Cleveland to ask to continue to run the program they're saying that it's too much money,” he said.