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Draft Youth Justice Blueprint a Good Plan, But no Immediate Solution

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Tags: Youth Justice, Ashley Youth Detention Centre, Children and Young People, Commission of Inquiry

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

Following the UN rapporteur’s visit to Ashley Youth Detention Centre, and the National Children’s Commissioner raising serious concerns, it’s pleasing to see the government release a draft youth justice plan. 
While the draft plan represents a major, important shift for youth justice and lays out the steps forward, it doesn’t solve Tasmania’s current youth justice failings. This is only a draft blueprint, with the final to be released next year.

Ashley is scheduled to close at the end of 2024. It’s uncertain whether that timeframe will be met.

The Greens also welcome Minister’s announcement of new therapeutic facilities, and bail and remand centres.

The notorious Ashley Youth Detention Centre is clearly the wrong, and unsafe, model for young people in detention. 

That said, Minister Jaensch was not clear on what will happen for next two years until AYDC closes. Will children, for example, continue to be subjected to 23 hour lockdowns in their cells for days on end? 
While the Minister’s therapeutic facilities plan sounds good, as far as we know no sites have yet been identified and work seems a long way off.
The Commission of Inquiry was clear, the government should not wait to act on urgent reforms. Ashley is hellhole and it’s no place for children and young people. Minister Jaensch should be finding solutions and alternatives now.