Qld’s attorney-general has been questioned over a contract awarded to a firm to run a boot camp, despite being one of the least desirable tenderers.

Queensland’s controversial boot camps for young offenders are stoping recidivism, but the opposition still questions how contracts to run the camps were awarded.

Before the camps were first introduced by the Newman government last year, 32 per cent in youth detention centres had served at least five times or more.

About 120 offenders have passed through the Hervey Bay, Gold Coast, Ingham and Rockhampton camps, 28 of those were sentenced and the remainder were at-risk youth who went as part of early intervention programs.

While it is still early days, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said of those that were sentenced to boot camps, only 17 per cent went on to reoffend.

Of the at-risk youth who attended, nine per cent went on to offend and be detained.

“The boot camps are about making sure the person leaves happy and are skilled,” Mr Bleijie told a budget estimates hearing.

“Importantly it will stop the flow of adult offending.”

The camps have not been without controversy.

The Kuranda centre near Cairns closed after two teens threatened a staff member with a knife, escaped and robbed a nearby house.

Labor also claims the successor camp, on a property near Ingham, was unfairly given to a company which went on to donate thousands of dollars to the LNP.

Labor MP Bill Byrne used the budget estimates hearing to ask Mr Bleijie how the Hervey Bay contract was awarded to Oz Adventures.

Mr Byrne said a departmental evaluation panel ranked it 10th out of 12 tenders and it was not selected to proceed to the next round.

Nevertheless, Mr Bleijie announced it as a successful candidate in August 2013.

He said Oz Adventures were chosen over its competitors because youth would gain skills, it had local support, and it would enforce discipline and respect better than other applicants.