THE Liberals are calling on the ACT government to establish a system recording the number of children who serve a custodial sentence at an adult prison after doing time at Bimberi Youth Detention Centre.
Shadow Minister for Families, Youth and Community Services Elizabeth Kikkert says there is currently nothing in place keeping a record of youth detainees who go on to serve a custodial sentence at the Alexander Maconochie Centre.
“Recidivism is a key indicator of the effectiveness of juvenile justice interventions,” Mrs Kikkert says.
“This is a serious information gap that undermines the value of the rehabilitation process. Can there be genuine confidence in the effectiveness of the rehabilitation process when there is no method in place to track its long-term impact on young people’s lives?
“This is beyond disappointing. Today in the Legislative Assembly, I will call on the government to value the rehabilitation process by tracking children who have done a stint at Bimberi and yet end up at the AMC later in life.
“Specifically, I am asking the government to establish a mechanism that will allow for the robust collection and sharing of this information by the beginning of the 2018–19 reporting year.
“Youth detention in the ACT has a troubling record going back many years. It is imperative that we can accurately assess if what is currently happening in our only detention centre is actually working as designed.
“The information that I am asking the government to record will give authorities a better understanding of the effectiveness of juvenile rehabilitation programs and the long-term impact of the youth detention culture.”