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Greens Release Costed Plan to Close Ashley

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Saturday, 10 September 2016

Tags: Youth Justice, Ashley Youth Detention Centre, Children and Young People, Young People, Justice, Corrections

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader 

The Tasmanian Greens have developed a fully costed plan to close the Ashley Youth Detention Centre and invest in two new medium and high security facilities in the North and South that will deliver a therapeutic model of youth justice and far better outcomes for juvenile offenders in Tasmania.

The evidence is clear that Ashley represents a failed model for youth justice.  It is punitive and doing too little to ensure young Tasmanians who find themselves on the wrong side of the law aren't on a pathway to adult prison.

Reviews of Ashley have found the emphasis is on security rather than rehabilitation, with young detainees often bored and where conflicts between residents, and between residents and staff are too common an occurrence. 

We believe young offenders deserve a chance at a better life.  An investment in their rehabilitation and successful reintegration back into the community will make for lower recidivism rates and safer Tasmania.

The Greens have adapted the highly successful Missouri Model from the United States to develop a plan that houses juvenile offenders in welcoming, home-like environments supported by specialist staff who can turn young lives around.

We want young Tasmanians who have done their time to leave the youth justice system better equipped for a successful life, through education, training, psychological and practical support delivered in the new detention facilities.

For too long governments have put Ashley in the too-hard basket.  The fact is, it's costs about $10 million each year to run and houses on average eight detainees at any one time.

It represents an expensive, outdated and failed model for youth justice.

The Greens' plan to close Ashley and deliver a model effective model represents a commitment to restorative justice and a safer community.

The evidence tells us this approach works and it's worth the investment.