New infrastructure

The Queensland Government has committed to build 2 new therapeutic youth detention centres, while also looking at a range of interim options to increase capacity. The locations of the new centres will be:

  • Woodford (South East Queensland)
  • Cairns region.

The first of the new centres to be built will be Woodford.

Current youth detention centres

Queensland currently has 3 youth detention centres.

Brisbane Youth Detention Centre

Brisbane Youth Detention Centre (BYDC) is located in Wacol (Brisbane). It has a bed capacity of 162 and a catchment south of Rockhampton and out to the Northern Territory border.

BYDC has built strong connections with several local community organisations and churches who help support young people who are transitioning back to the Brisbane and local communities.

Cleveland Youth Detention Centre

Cleveland Youth Detention Centre (CYDC) is located in Townsville. It has a bed capacity of 112 and a catchment of Rockhampton and north, and out to the Northern Territory border.

A majority of young people at CYDC are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. The school based at CYDC have implemented curriculum and practices that work with Aboriginal English to help young people learn Standard Australian English. CYDC also has regular Elders visits to keep young people connected to culture.

West Moreton Youth Detention Centre

West Moreton Youth Detention Centre (WMYDC) is located in Wacol (Brisbane) next to BYDC. It has a bed capacity of 32. WMYDC is located within its own local catchment area (Ipswich Youth Justice Service Centre and Western Districts Youth Justice Service Centre) which provides an opportunity to build stronger, positive connections between the young people and their communities. The centre focuses on working:

  • inside-out – keeping an outward focus for young people and building community contacts for them from the point of entry
  • outside-in – bringing the community into the centre to work with young people.


A modified school year for young people in youth detention centres has been in place since the beginning of 2022. Brisbane Youth Education and Training Centre, Cleveland Education and Training Centre and West Moreton Youth Education and Training Centre run classes 48 weeks a year.

In 2022, young people in Queensland youth detention centres earned 47 full qualifications, 489 units of competency and 1,058 statements of attainment.

Last updated 20 July 2023

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