Tasmania needs a youth justice facility. For the small number of young people who do need to come into custody, the Tasmanian Government’s commitment to Ashley Youth Detention Centre will help to ensure it provides safe, secure detention and care for those young people.
The Government is committed to providing a stronger, more therapeutic rehabilitative youth justice system and has made significant progress since the Custodial Inspection Resources and Systems Inspection Report 2019 was undertaken.
The Report made 18 recommendations based upon observations gained through an inspection of Ashley Youth Detention Centre in August 2019.
The Department of Communities Tasmania (DCT) supported 10 recommendations as existing initiatives including:
- relocation of resident files to a secure storage and commencement of electronic storage from March 2021;
- reviewing and updating intranet content – there is a major project underway to review all AYDC policies and procedures, taking into account Child Safe Standards and Custodial Inspector recommendations;
- changes to Centre Management delegations (now complete);
- strengthening the incident reporting process, including notification to Work, Health and Safety;
- implementing processes to improve timeliness of recruitment;
- review and relaunch of the performance management framework; and
- formalising supervision requirements.
Two recommendations were not supported by DCT were:
- Implementing a register to capture current security checks was not supported as this information is captured centrally within the payroll systems and renewals are monitored by the People and Culture branch.
- Recruitment of additional staff to comply with resident staff ratio was not supported as it was a situational issue that was evident at the time of the inspection and does not reflect an ongoing system issue. It has since been resolved by undertaking proactive recruitment and maintaining additional staff in the casual pool to allow for resident fluctuations.
The Custodial Inspector is an independent statutory officer appointed by the Governor required to carry out independent mandatory inspections of the AYDC at least once every three years and to report to the responsible Minister and Parliament.
While the detention of young people is a last resort, the Government is always committed to providing quality and safe care for young people in custody through the provision of rehabilitative programs in accordance with the Youth Justice Act 1997.
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