News State Victoria News Victoria’s ‘worst’ juvenile offenders need new facility

Victoria’s ‘worst’ juvenile offenders need new facility

Melbourne Youth Justice Centre Parkville
Victoria's Youth Justice Centre's in Parkville and Malmsbury can't contain the state's "worst" offenders, union says. Photo: ABC
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A new high-security management facility is needed to house a small core group of Victoria’s “worst” youth offenders, the union representing corrections staff says.

The Community and Public Sector Union’s (CPSU) Julian Kennelly said youth detention centres were overcrowded and the level of violence had increased with three riots in recent weeks.

A number of inmates at the Melbourne Youth Justice Centre caused a disturbance at the Parkville facility earlier this month in the latest of a serious of incidents this year.

Mr Kennelly said there was a core group of about a dozen prisoners, including members of the APEX gang, who were causing problems.

“What’s urgently needed is a management facility for the small core group of worst offenders in juvenile facilities,” he said.

“Both Parkville and Malmsbury have been the subject of serious riots in the last three weekends.

“The three [prisoners] causing problems at Parkville were shifted to Malmsbury and of course they caused problems up there.

“This is a way we can remove these ringleaders and get those facilities back in some condition to house those offenders who are there.”

Facilities ‘not full’, Minister says

Jenny Mikakos, the Minister for Families and Children, said the assertion that the two youth justice facilities were full was “just wrong”.

“We’ll continue to monitor and assess what is needed at these facilities and provide what is needed to keep our community safe,” she said.

Melbourne Youth Justice Centre
The Melbourne Youth Justice Centre in Parkville, Victoria.

“We’ve already got capacity to transfer young offenders who need to be separated from others by sending them to Malmsbury.”

Ms Mikakos said the CPSU was asking for a behaviour management unit similar to the Don Dale detention centre in the Northern Territory in July.

Four Corners uncovered evidence of torture at the facility.

“We’ll be watching to see what the royal commission into the Northern Territory youth justice system and the review being undertaken by Victoria’s Commission for Children have to say about these matters,” Ms Mikakos said.

“We have 60 new staff starting at both locations [Parkville, Malmsbury] in next weeks.”

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