The Queensland Government is committed to keeping our community safe and supporting victims, actively tackling the complex causes of youth crime and targeting serious repeat offenders.

To create safer communities, and target serious repeat offenders, we will increase youth detention centre capacity by building a new youth detention centre in Woodford.

This new youth detention centre supports our goal to provide more regional youth detention services, facilitating connection to family, community, Country, and support services during detention and when transitioning back into community.

Located in Woodford, Moreton Bay, the centre is well-connected to Brisbane and surrounding areas, with easy access to major highways, and public transport options. This makes it convenient for transport to and from the centre, and for families, staff and services to access the centre.

While only an hour's drive from Brisbane, the centre's rural setting will be well-situated to enable complete focus on rehabilitation and ensure minimal disruption to surrounding communities.

Consultation on the new youth detention centre at Woodford is now open.

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About the centre

The new youth detention centre at Woodford will include therapeutic design elements which aim to support rehabilitation for young people and improve community safety.

The features of the centre will include:

  • 80 beds – comprised of two 40-bed campuses with some shared facilities in between
  • smaller, more home-like accommodation units (8 or fewer beds per unit) purpose-built to encourage young people, staff, and stakeholders to work together
  • consultation and treatment rooms
  • multipurpose spaces for education, skills development and training
  • areas for physical activity, green spaces
  • spaces for cultural connection, faith and spiritual support.

Centre statistics

Smaller, home-like accomodation units

80-bed capacity

Contemporary therapeutic design to support rehabilitation

Proposed design

We have engaged architects to lead the design of the centre. The centre will emulate best-practice principles, including trauma-informed design, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) and carceral geography. Biophilia (incorporating elements of nature) and First Nations knowledge and culture will be reflected in the built environment.

The centre's method of design will support rehabilitation outcomes and improve community safety.

Therapeutic design

Youth detention centres play a crucial role in the management, rehabilitation and reintegration of young offenders into our communities.

Research shows a shift towards more therapeutic approaches to detention will support improved results for young people and improved community safety. A holistic approach focused on rehabilitation that takes into account the unique circumstances and challenges faced by young offenders will contribute to reduced recidivism.

One of the key features of a therapeutic model is the emphasis on mental health support. Many young offenders have experienced trauma, abuse or neglect, which can contribute to their involvement in criminal activities.

Although therapeutic, this is a place to consider the consequences of an offence.

Programs and services at the centre will aim to help young people take responsibility and be held accountable for their actions. They will promote the restoration of relationships and encourage positive choices.

The centre will promote prosocial values and behaviours, which evidence shows can lead to improved outcomes such as reduced rates of arrests and detention and lower rates of recidivism.

Young people will be helped to be aware of their behaviour and encouraged to make good decisions by promoting and reinforcing good behaviour. By setting clear boundaries and consequences for inappropriate behaviour, youth detention centres aim to teach accountability and responsibility. Young people will be treated with respect and dignity at all times and encouraged to treat others with respect and dignity.

Finding the right balance of welfare, justice and security is essential in creating an environment that promotes growth and accountability among young people in detention.


The youth detention centre will be built at the Woodford Correctional Precinct, adjacent to the existing adult correctional centre. The site was announced as the preferred site in May 2023.

The site meets important criteria for the effective operation of the centre and will have minimal negative effects on nearby residents and businesses.

Centres should ensure easy access for families, educational services, healthcare facilities, employees and contractors, while ensuring safety for young people and staff.

One of the key goals for our youth detention centres is to minimise disruption to the community.

The centre will be designed to provide a safe and secure environment for young offenders while also addressing their rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

Often people are concerned about security in surrounding areas of youth detention centres. The young people attending the centre will only access it by using dedicated transport.

Map of Woodford with pin indicating the location of the new youth detention centre (from Google Maps)
Map of Woodford with pin indicating the location of the new youth detention centre (from Google Maps)

Facility renderings

Initial architect supplied renderings that provide an impression of what the facility will look like. These renderings help to illustrate how the building and spaces will look before it is built and represent the design intent.

Rendering of the entrance perspective of the new youth detention centre at Woodford
Entrance perspective
Rendering of the recreation area of the new youth detention centre at Woodford
Recreation area
Rendering of the visiting area at the new youth detention centre at Woodford
Visiting area


To boost capacity and lead to better outcomes for young people in detention, a new youth remand facility will be fast-tracked and rapidly built at Wacol. This facility will accommodate approximately 50 young people until the first stage of the new youth detention centre at Woodford is operational.

The construction of the new youth detention centre in Woodford is scheduled to commence in 2024, with completion of Stage 1 of the centre targeted for 2026. The timeline for the project is indicative and subject to change depending on consultation, contractor availability and external variables such as the weather. Changes to the timeline will be reflected below.

Quarter 2, 2023

Site confirmation and announcement

Commenced engagement with Traditional Owners, and cultural heritage assessments (ongoing)

Quarter 3, 2023

High level renders created for stakeholders

Material finalisation for stakeholder consultation

Quarter 4, 2023

Stakeholder consultation opens

Quarter 1, 2024

Consultation feedback incorporated, stakeholder updates provided

Final updated designs available

Quarter 2, 2024

Construction work begins, and sod turn

Quarter 4, 2024

Foundation completed

Quarter 1, 2025

Construction underway

Quarter 4, 2026

Construction completion (phase 1)

Have your say

Consultation on the new youth detention centre at Woodford is now open. We are looking to hear from young people, key stakeholders and service providers, local Elders and the community. Your contributions will make a difference to the design and function of the centre. Provide feedback on the facility and the centre's operations.

Have your say on the facility

Working at the new youth detention centre

Becoming a Detention Youth Worker offers a challenging and rewarding opportunity to directly contribute to community safety, while supporting young people in custody to make better choices.

Positions will become available before the centre is operational in 2026 and will be advertised on SmartJobs.

Learn more about detention youth worker careers.

Last updated 30 April 2024

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