The Attorney-General ordered an Independent Review of Youth Detention Centres in Queensland in August 2016.

The review was conducted by Commissioners Kathryn McMillan QC and Professor Megan Davis.


The review looked at the practices, policies and programs of Queensland's youth detention centres. The commissioners specifically considered:

  • existing policies and practices about use of
    • force
    • separation
    • restraints
    • incident monitoring
    • complaints
  • existing oversight systems and processes
  • current programs and services that address the issues behind offending
  • the specific needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in detention.

They also looked at allegations made by previous staff and young people in detention, about how young people were treated.

Outcome of the review

The commissioners made 83 recommendations in their report (PDF, 60.5MB).

The report also acknowledges:

  • the significant trauma that many young people in the youth justice system have experienced
  • that this needs to be considered when the recommendations are implemented.

Queensland Government response to the recommendations

The review made 83 recommendations in their report. The Queensland Government accepted all 83 recommendations.

The review looked at specific incidents that largely took place in 2013, 2014 and early 2015. Since then, there has been significant change to the way we do things in youth detention centres.

Since 2015, Youth Justice has worked with young people to provide real change and outcomes for them, their families and the community, rather than focusing on compliance alone. Projects have included:

Investing in the safety, wellbeing and rehabilitation of young people

We are committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of young people in Queensland youth detention centres.

The Queensland Government accepted the recommendations from the review into youth detention, and has implemented them within the youth justice system.

The government committed $6.2 million to implement the recommendations from the Review. This included 53 new permanent positions to help young people.

The recommendations were separated into 9 work groups, including:

  • cultural services and support
  • program delivery and evaluation
  • positive behaviour management and incident prevention
  • mental health and therapeutic supports
  • incident footage and investigation
  • oversight
  • justice reinvestment
  • transfer of 17-year-olds
  • Queensland Corrective Services.

Last updated 15 May 2022

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