The youth detention review made 83 recommendations. These were sorted into work programs for implementation.

Our objectives

Safely transfer 17-year-olds to the youth justice system in a way that supports:

  • the best interests of young people
  • safety and security in detention centres.

The way forward

To achieve this we will:

  • establish rigorous risk assessment and information sharing processes
  • establish a transparent decision making process about transfer decisions
  • ensure young people subject to transfer decisions have access to legal advice and can appeal transfer decisions.


Recommendation 3 (status: complete)

The Review recommends that the Principles set out 1-4, 6.3 and 6.4 of 'Youth detention – Transfer of a young person policy' should be applied to 17-year-olds transferring from prison to youth detention. (7.R1)

The Youth Justice (Transitional) Regulation 2018 (the Regulation) provided ;arrangements to transition 17-year-olds into the youth justice system.

The principles set out 1-4, 6.3 and 6.4 of the 'Youth detention – Transfer of a young person policy' were applied.

Recommendation 4 (status: complete)

The Review recommends that legal advice and support should be provided to individual 17-year-olds who are the subject of transfer orders. (7.R2)

The Regulation included provisions that required the chief executive to provide assistance to those who requested access to legal advice in relation to the review of a transfer decision.

This was embedded in procedural documents.

Recommendation 5 (status: complete)

The Review recommends that the YJOLA Act regulations should include that 17-year-olds are able to review or appeal a transfer decision without undue delay. (7.R3)

Provisions in the Youth Justice (Transitional) Regulation 2018 enabled 17-year-olds to ask for an internal review of a transfer decision without undue delay. If a 17-year-old was not satisfied with the outcome of the review they could talk to the Ombudsman.

Recommendation 6 (status: complete)

The Review recommends that information sharing between prisons and youth detention centres should include security classifications with supporting documentation, details of any existing support services and health needs of the 17-year-old to facilitate the re-implementation of these supports upon transfer. (7.R4)

The finalised practice instruction for the transfer of 17-year-olds from Queensland Correctional Centres to youth detention centres included information sharing guidelines.

Recommendation 8 (status: complete)

The Review recommends that YJ should be provided with adequate funding and staffing levels to respond to the needs of 17-year-olds to be transferred in the next 12 months and 16-year-olds who form part of the future client cohort. (7.R6)

The introduction of 17-year-olds into Youth Justice resulted in an increased demand in our detention centres.

Additional staffing was committed in the 2018-19 budget.

In April 2019, the government committed more than $320 million to expanding, building and staffing a new youth detention centre as well as a range of initiatives across the whole sector aimed at reducing reoffending.

Last updated 15 May 2022

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