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Western Australia's Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis is optimistic for a more positive future for young juvenile offenders with the completion of the refurbished units at Banksia Hill juvenile justice centre, which were damage last year during riots.
Now that the detainees are back at Banksia Hill, Minister Francis says things will be different. 'I just want to see things change and see things get done. I think a lot's happened in the last 12 months in juvenile justice. The biggest achievement, some would argue, has been to get children out of an adult jail where some spent 10 months.'
'Of particular note is that those remanded in custody, now have access to programs they didn't have before. It was always about those who were sentenced and those on remand were somewhat overlooked. At the end of the day, you've got to seize every opportunity to try and correct people,' said Minister Francis.
Juvenile detainees and those on remand will now have access to programs including education, culture, drug rehabilitation and recreational. They will also be able to see a psychiatrist.
The Corrective Services Minister says he wants to stop young people ending up in Banksia Hill. He says he'll establish a youth justice board that will focus on diversionary and rehabilitative programs and give individuals the support they need. This will require a whole range of government departments to cooperate to oversee and coordinate a multi-faceted approach.
The plan to establish a youth justice board is awaiting approval by cabinet, but Minister Francis says it's one of his highest priorities.
Source: SBS World News