At any time in Victoria, there are around 200 children and young people aged between 10 and 24 years old incarcerated in youth justice centres. A key aim of youth detention is reducing young people’s risk of reoffending.
On 3 April 2017, responsibility for youth justice transferred from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Department of Justice and Regulation (DJR). DJR now manages two youth detention centres, at Parkville and Malmsbury. DJR also manages the contract with the Youth Health and Rehabilitation Service (YHaRS), which provides primary and mental health, health case management and offending behaviour services.
The Department of Education and Training (DET) operates Parkville College (PC), a registered specialist government secondary school at both youth detention centres.
In this audit, we examined how well the rehabilitation services—including educational services provided by DJR, YHaRS and DET (including PC)—are meeting the developmental needs of children and young people in the youth detention system and reducing their risk of reoffending. This audit is important because no previous review of youth justice has comprehensively focused on rehabilitation services for incarcerated children and young people.
We made five recommendations for DJR and two for DET. We also made a further two recommendations for both DJR and DET.