Report on youth justice facilities at the Grevillea unit of Barwon Prison, Malmsbury and Parkville

We tabled this report in February 2017 – which was not a formal investigation – in a period when youth justice had attracted considerable media and political attention amid a series of disturbances at the juvenile justice facilities at Parkville and Malmsbury.
 
Severe damage caused by young people during unrest at Parkville led the Victorian Government to gazette a new youth justice centre at the Grevillea Unit in Barwon prison.
 
The report identified a shift in offending patterns by some young people held in juvenile justice facilities, with evidence from the Department of Health and Human Services describing the current cohort as: “ … more sophisticated, socially networked, calculated and callous offending, characterised by rapidly escalating levels of violence and disregard for authority and consequence.”
 
Another major theme emerging from Victorian Ombudsman enquiries – including visits to the three juvenile justice centres – was that extended lockdowns of young people are contributing to the tension that leads to disturbances.
 
The Ombudsman gave evidence to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Youth Justice Centres in Victoria, which is due to provide its report in February 2018.
 
Read the transcript of evidence given to the parliamentary inquiry here.
 
Read the media release.