Minister for Human Services
A New Approach to Youth Detention
06 April, 2016


The Hodgman Liberal Government supports a therapeutic approach to youth detention to help young offenders make meaningful changes.

When a young person is detained, we want to ensure that we, and they, use that time as an opportunity; not simply a period of detention.

We want young people to leave the centre with the skills, knowledge and personal abilities they need to become productive members of our community.

Since his appointment, I have been working closely with the Commissioner for Children, Mark Morrissey, on how the care environment in the Ashley Youth Detention Centre can be strengthened by embedding a therapeutic environment.

There are limitations, however, on how far we can progress such an environment at Ashley, particularly as it is an older facility.

For this reason, the Government has commissioned a Youth at Risk strategy and implementation plan, which will have as its main component a redevelopment plan for custodial youth detention in Tasmania.

We will be looking at every opportunity to ensure that the key ingredients for a truly therapeutic environment for young people in custodial detention are built into this plan, and will be investing $200,000 in its development.

As part of this work, we will also be looking at how we can join up this new approach to youth detention with the overall youth justice system.

This is all about working across government and community service providers to help our young people return to their communities as strong, resilient contributors.