Review into Don Dale security

A review into the security arrangements at Don Dale Youth Detention Centre has identified recommendations to improve the process for detainee classification and infrastructure security at the facility.

Minister for Territory Families Dale Wakefield said action had begun immediately to address the recommendations, including reviewing the classifications of all low-security detainees to ensure appropriate placement.

“The number of escapes in recent months is unacceptable and clearly highlights the urgent need to address security at the facility and classification of detainees,” Ms Wakefield said.

“Every Territorian has the right to feel safe and expects their homes and businesses to be secure, especially from young offenders being held in detention.

“Some of the recommendations made were already underway, including significant improvements to the training of our youth justice officers and the delivery of ongoing specialist training for new and existing youth justice officers.

“We’ve also made a number of upgrades to improve security and safety at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre, until such time that we can move forward on a new purpose-built facility.

“We have made changes to management practices at our youth detention centres including the creation of a new Director of Operational Reform.

“Other operational improvements are being rolled out as a matter of priority.”

Recommendations include:

Briefings and training for all staff at youth detention centres on Detention Centre Directives, particularly around detainee classification

A full security audit of the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in order to prioritise future works

Security cameras and perimeter electronic surveillance devices assessed and repaired if required

Creating an ongoing position of Security Compliance Officer at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre to ensure compliance with all aspects of security at the Centre

Regular training exercises in conjunction with NT Police on escape responses.

Minister Wakefield said the Territory Labor Government is restoring trust through open and transparent governance.

“We are not shying away from the work that needs to be done to fix the Territory’s broken youth justice system,” Ms Wakefield said.

“Improving services and facilities for youth in detention is one of many steps we are taking as part of our historic overhaul of the youth justice system.”