At the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre in Wacol, female and male minors on remand or sentence are held in secure facilities until court hearings or sentence. A typical day at this facility would involve them waking up, showering and dressing before cleaning their rooms and participating in programs, housekeeping tasks or unit activities before dinner and bed.
Table of Contents
What happens at a youth detention centre?
Every day, thousands of children are locked up in youth prisons around the world and restricted from accessing education, mental health services or any form of care – often even being subjected to violence from older staff members or fellow inmates.
Facility staff should recognize and uphold the rights of youth residents while making sure all are aware of their legal rights. They should grant reasonable access to telephone lines without deprivation due to discipline action; in addition, no conversations should be recorded unless specific and reasonable suspicion exists that criminal activity or harm to others or property may be taking place.
Facilities should allow residents access to attorneys at reasonable times, ensuring attorney-client visits occur in private settings. They should also make available any legal materials needed by residents in challenging their adjudication, sentence, or conditions of confinement.
Your child’s caseworker
Your child in detention will have a caseworker assigned who will visit them regularly and remain in communication with both of you. Their role will include dealing with issues related to his/her sentence and charges as well as health care and education needs.
Young people must adhere to a regimented day: from awakening, showering and dressing themselves before cleaning their rooms before heading out the door for school or programs, through meal breaks and housekeeping duties before unit time, dinner and rest before bedtime. There are also vocational educational courses like cooking, horticulture and bricklaying offered.
An independent review revealed that some young people at BYDC were sexually abused by staff members, going undetected due to inadequate CCTV systems at the center. To address these concerns, Caboolture Watch House will soon be constructed as a child-specific facility.
Your child’s health care
Brisbane Youth Detention Centre at 99 Wolston Park Road in Wacol is a facility for male and female young people who have been arrested or ordered to spend time in detention by Queensland’s Department of Communities, Child Safety, and Disability Services. It operates according to strict protocols set out by its management team.
Ms Hayes reported that children are taught by Education Queensland staff and the centers offer various courses such as cooking, horticulture, bricklaying and barista skills. She expressed concern when children moved between sections, which limits the amount of education they receive.
Ms Hayes explained that young people in detention receive breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner daily. In addition, family, community members and religious visitors may visit. Finally, 120 minutes per week can be allocated for phone calls (other than to legal or community visitor representatives) who have approval by staff members before placing calls through.
Your child’s rights
Youth have access to private rooms, beds and linen, showers and toilets as well as recreational activities such as music, art, gardening, cooking, yoga, physical fitness training and vocational career readiness. Youth also participate in an advisory Council and grievance program providing them with due process for any concerns that arise.
Children also have the right to challenge the lawfulness of their detention under international human rights law, which is an absolute requirement.
As any government that detains children must take great care to ensure the detention is necessary and proportionate with legitimate goals, international human rights law dictates that any detention should never be arbitrary and should only ever be used as an appropriate last resort – for instance preventing serious crimes as well as protecting public safety and society at large.