Media Releases

Inquiry into Youth Justice Centres in Victoria

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

The Legislative Council Inquiry into Youth Justice Centres in Victoria has found Daniel Andrews’ youth justice system remains in crisis, with a greater number of violent offenders, staff shortages and serious incidents resulting in lockdowns.

The report found a record number of lockdowns occurred in youth justice as the centres struggled with staff shortages and violent offences taking place. It was revealed the number of young offenders placed into isolation increased from an average of 8.8 per day to 42.4 per day and found 40% of young offenders reoffended within two years.

Despite a 116.44% increase in Category 1 assaults in youth justice centres since July 2014, critical information from the Andrews Government on major issues in youth justice, such as lockdowns and assaults against staff was either withheld or significantly delayed hampering efforts of the committee.

The committee found a high turnover of staff at the centres, which was found to be both costly and disruptive, leading to further unrest. Despite claims of youth justice staff recruitment by the Andrews Government, 30 out of a recruitment pool of 50 left prior to completing their induction training and 70 per cent of current employees had been working at the centres for less than six months.

The committee also found that sufficient detox and rehab programs were not available to young offenders, limiting options for magistrates to deal with young offenders with drug problems.

Today’s final report follows the committee’s interim report from 12 December, and request that the Victorian Ombudsman investigate claims of collusion of Supreme Court evidence by the Secretary of the Department of Education and Training. The committee has not been advised that the Ombudsman’s investigation has concluded.

You have to wonder why Daniel Andrews won’t sack Jenny Mikakos. This minister has made enough mistakes in youth justice to have been sacked 10 times over. 

Just because Daniel Andrews is running out of available backbenchers, it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t sack this hapless minister.