Wednesday, 26 November 2008

160 juveniles housed in NSW police cells

We have seen a massive increase in the number of kids who are being held on remand partly due to the changes in bail laws: Juvenile Justice Minister

The New South Wales Government says overcrowding in the juvenile justice system will be alleviated by the availability of new beds in the next few months.

Last year, about 160 juveniles who were remanded in custody spent time in police cells because there was not enough room at detention centres.

The Juvenile Justice Minister, Graham West, says while there is a short-term problem, a new facility in Sydney's west and extensions to other centres will eventually relieve the pressure on the system.

"We recognise there is a shortage of beds in our facilities which is why we are building an extra 80, including 50 in a specialist remand unit," he said.

"We have seen a massive increase in the number of kids who are being held on remand partly due to the changes in bail laws and also because of changed policing practices."

But the Opposition's spokesman on juvenile justice, Anthony Roberts, says union sources have told him the changes will not be made in time.

"There'll be no juvenile justice beds for young offenders between Sydney and the Victorian border," he said.

"The Government, in light of this - they are spending $2,000 a day keeping young juveniles locked up in police cells - needs to overturn the decision to close the Keelong Juvenile Justice Centre and they need to do that immediately."


Judge rules youths be taken out of adult jail
IN A victory for prisoner rehabilitation, a Supreme Court judge has ordered three young offenders be removed from adult jails and returned to juvenile detention centres by Monday to complete their sentences.

Laws will push teenagers into adult prisons
TWELVE young offenders who have brought a court challenge against their transfer from juvenile to adult jails have been dealt a blow after the State Government rushed laws into Parliament that may ensure they are moved.

Juvenile jails crisis: inmates turned away
THE state's juvenile justice system is so overcrowded that at least three institutions are refusing to accept any more inmates.

Juvenile detainees sharing single cells
SEVERE overcrowding in the state's juvenile detention centres is forcing young people to share cells designed for one person, to sleep on mattresses on the floor and be held in "segregation" rooms usually used as punishment cells.

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