Kariong Juvenile Justice Centre

About this Item
SpeakersRhiannon Ms Lee; Tebbutt The Hon Carmel
BusinessQuestions Without Notice


Ms LEE RHIANNON: I direct my question to the Minister for Juvenile Justice, Minister Assisting the Premier on Youth, and Minister Assisting the Minister for the Environment. When will the current management of Kariong Juvenile Justice Centre by the Department of Corrective Services be replaced by a more sensible arrangement that does not perpetuate the racial discrimination that has resulted in all boys in the unprivileged unit, known as the normal section, being Aboriginal, all boys in the privilege unit being non-Aboriginal?

The Hon. CARMEL TEBBUTT: I know Ms Lee Rhiannon has a particular interest in matters pertaining to juvenile justice, particularly Kariong Juvenile Justice Centre. I confirm that the centre is still being managed by a senior manager of the Department of Corrective Services, and that is being kept under review. I cannot confirm the details sought in the question in relation to who is in the privilege unit. I can confirm that Kariong operates three of its four units, one of which is a privilege unit and two are standard units.

Detainees progress to the privilege unit if they meet a number of criteria, including applying for a transfer to that unit, participation in full-time school and vocational activities, appropriate behaviour and active participation in non-school-centred programs such as sport or other recreational activities. Decisions on transfers are made at meetings of the centre support team. Detainees in the privilege unit who have met the requirements but do not continue to meet them are returned to the standard unit.

I repeat that I cannot confirm the exact details of who is in the privilege unit of Kariong Juvenile Justice Centre. I know that in the past month there have been at least two indigenous detainees in the privilege unit, so it is not the case that there have not been indigenous detainees in that unit. I cannot confirm that there are indigenous detainees there now. If detainees qualify for, but do not apply for, transfers to the privilege unit - they may well have close friendships in the current unit in which they reside - they are not forced to change units even if they meet the criteria for the privilege unit.

Ms Lee Rhiannon would be aware that under the security and recovery plan I announced some time ago a review is being conducted of the provision of programs at the Kariong Juvenile Justice Centre. That review will no doubt result in changes to the provision of programs at the centre. Indeed, some changes have already been implemented.