The youth detention review made 83 recommendations. These were sorted into work programs for implementation.
Youth detention centres will be culturally safe spaces for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. This means that our organisation and our staff will provide quality services that fit with the cultural values of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
We will nurture and support young people's connections with:
The way forward
To achieve our objectives we will:
- build on the skills, knowledge and practices of our staff in youth detention centres to plan, support, improve and deliver services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people
- make decisions that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in a culturally respectful and appropriate way
- improve cultural supports, services and programs in youth detention centres
- grow our relationships with Elders and communities so that young people are better supported when they leave detention
- encourage family visits
- encourage cultural visits
- develop our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce
- have a network of cultural advisors and cultural units across Youth Justice to lead and support this work.
Recommendation 7 (status: closed)
The Review recommends that Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander organisations should play a key role in stakeholder consultation. (7.R5)
The department reviewed the way it consults with stakeholders to make sure communities across Queensland are represented.
The Director-General has access to the knowledge and expertise of the First Nations Council.
Brisbane Youth Detention Centre and Cleveland Youth Detention Centre have fully established cultural units who work with, advise and support staff, young people and their families. The Youth Justice First Nations Action Board and cultural unit also provide support.
Recommendation 12 (status: closed)
The Review recommends that if Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are transferred from remote and regional areas of the state, appropriate cultural visits from the young person’s community should be arranged in person or with the use of video conferencing. (7.R10)
Youth detention centres can help families with transport and accommodation costs so they can visit their children in detention. Review funding increased the budget for this. Staff also help young people to make video calls with their family if they live far away.
We put permanent cultural units in Brisbane Youth Detention Centre and Cleveland Youth Detention Centre. This supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to strengthen their relationships with family and community.
The cultural units also work with Elders and respected community members to:
- support young people
- promote their sense of cultural identity and belonging.
We developed a resource about sorry business and sad news. This ensures young people in detention have appropriate cultural support and that the notification of passing is done in a culturally appropriate way. The resource includes on-centre and off-centre supports so young people can connect with their families and communities during this time.
Recommendation 25 (status: closed)
The Review recommends that external stakeholders should be invited to join the FNAB. (9.R9)
We invite external stakeholders to participate in Youth Justice First Nations Action Board sub-group meetings across the state, as appropriate.
Recommendation 26 (status: closed)
The Review recommends that consultation with external Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders to develop, design and implement cultural-specific programs should occur as a matter of priority.
In respect of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, this should include consultation with community Elders. (9.R10)
The expansion of on-centre cultural units has included employing dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander program facilitators.
We have developed a Queensland-based framework for cultural programs. We will implement the framework through the existing programs framework. It provides guidance on:
- key components and themes
- locally relevant stakeholders, knowledge and history
- resources and tools to support skill development
- risk factors and risk assessment.
Recommendation 71 (status: complete)
The Review recommends that a communication liaison position should be created to manage individual complaints and incidents relating to use of force and separation within the detention centres, ensuring consistent and adequate communication with parents, families and guardians is provided. (17.R13)
Young people are given a detention-based caseworker when they are admitted to the centre. This is in addition to their community-based YJ caseworker. Caseworkers keep in contact with the young person’s family.
We have updated our policies and procedures to improve the support to young people's families and to embed the role of cultural units in our youth detention centres. This way we can ensure that culturally appropriate contact is made with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families if issues, including complaints and incidents, arise.
Brisbane Youth Detention Centre and Cleveland Youth Detention Centre each have a client relations manager who is responsible for managing all young person related complaints. This role reports directly to the executive director to ensure independence from the day-to-day operating of the centre.
Cultural liaison officers at each youth detention centres provide direct and indirect cultural support, and culturally appropriate communication to families.
Recommendation 72 (status: complete)
The Review recommends that parents and guardians should be advised of all incidents occurring in youth detention centres for which their children are subjected to use of force, restrained, separated or as a result of which they may have suffered harm as defined in the Youth Justice Act 1992, Section 268. (17.R14)
See the response to recommendation 71.
Recommendation 75 (status: complete)
The Review recommends that a communication liaison position should be created to manage individual incidents, use of force and separation within the detention centres, and should ensure that consistent and adequate communication with parents, families and guardians is provided. (18.R2)
See the response to recommendation 71.