Teenagers being held at Victoria’s maximum security prison will remain there indefinitely after the state government reclassified one of its units for a second time.
On Wednesday it lost a bid to overturn a Supreme Court ruling that found the boys’ detention at Barwon Prison was unlawful.
More than 15 teenagers were moved to the facility after riots damaged Parkville’s youth justice centre in November.
The Court of Appeal had given the government until Friday afternoon to move the teenagers out of the adult prison.
But in a statement, Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos said the Grevillea Unit had again been gazetted as a youth justice facility and remand centre.
“The orders were made by the Governor in Council and mean that the facility can operate as a youth justice facility and remand centre,” she said.
“The issues raised by the courts have been addressed in this gazettal.”
The Supreme Court had previously heard that when the children were first transferred to Barwon they were held in isolation, had no access to schooling and were handcuffed to reach the exercise yard.
But Ms Mikakos said significant improvements have been made to the facility.
“Significant work has gone into establishing a suite of services for young people at the Grevillea Unit, including education and health services, as well as a separate visitors centre,” she said.
“The Government will continue to act to ensure the safety of staff, the offenders and the community.
“That’s why we are undertaking urgent repairs and fortification works at the Parkville facility around the clock.”
It is unclear whether the teenagers’ lawyers will challenge this latest decision, which effectively allows the children to be detained at Barwon.