The Andrews Labor Government is modernising Victoria’s youth justice system through a modified design of Cherry Creek and continued operation of the Parkville and Malmsbury Youth Justice Centres.
Consistent with recommendations from the Armytage/Ogloff Youth Justice Review and Strategy, the Labor government will adopt an interim youth justice system configuration when the Cherry Creek facility is completed.
Under this model, the new facility at Cherry Creek will house males aged 15-18. It will operate alongside existing youth justice centres at Parkville which will house female youth offenders and males aged below 15, and Malmsbury which will continue to house males between the ages of 15 and 21.
The design of the Cherry Creek facility has been revised to deliver a more specialised facility that focuses on staff safety and reducing re-offending among Victoria’s most complex and challenging young males aged 15-18 years.
The facility will also include an intensive intervention unit, a specialised health care unit, intensive alcohol and drug treatment and dedicated mental health beds.
Security and safety for staff and rehabilitation of young people is at the forefront of the revised design. There will be more secure accommodation units, advanced technology to monitor movement, additional CCTV, improved security counter designs at reception, gatehouse and admissions areas and new staff exit points.
The design changes at Cherry Creek were informed by international best practice, feedback from independent experts including the Youth Justice Custodial Facilities Working Group, and recommendations from the Armytage/Ogloff and Neil Comrie AO reviews.
The Cherry Creek facility is due to be completed in 2021 and will include 140 beds. The facility will be master planned for up to 244 beds. The construction of the facility will create more than 400 ongoing jobs for the local community.
The Community Advisory Group, established in June 2017, has provided input into the planning and construction of the Cherry Creek youth justice facility, by identifying and addressing local issues and informing the wider community about the project.
The Labor Government has invested over $1.2 billion in youth justice, including for infrastructure upgrades and the construction of new units at Parkville and Malmsbury.
As noted by Minister for Corrections and Youth Justice Ben Carroll
“We’re rebuilding Victoria’s youth justice system and ensuring our dedicated staff are working in safe and secure facilities.”
“This facility will manage the most complex and challenging young people in custody to prevent reoffending and keep the community safe.”
“We’re also delivering more staff, upgrading infrastructure, expanding rehabilitation programs and mental health services for young people.”