$150m detention centre to fight overcrowding

A NEW youth detention centre will be built as the Palaszczuk Government struggle to get control of overcrowding problems.

Youth Minister Di Farmer announced today the Government would spend $320 million expanding, building and staffing new beds and implementing other initiatives aimed at reducing reoffending and allowing more children to stay in the community.

But she admitted there was not yet any quick-fix to deal with children currently being held in police watchhouses because the state's two youth detention centres at Brisbane and Townsville were full.

Ms Farmer said a new 32-bed youth detention centre would be built at Wacol for $150 million and 16 more beds would be added to the existing Brisbane Youth Detention Centre, costing $27 million.

Queensland Police would also be tasked with making surprise visits to young people on bail to ensure they are meeting conditions like curfew.

 

The Youth Detention Centre at Wacol. Picture: Jamie Hanson
The Youth Detention Centre at Wacol. Picture: Jamie Hanson

 

"This investment will expand the current statewide capacity from 254 beds to 302 beds, ensuring we have better and safer conditions for young people in detention and our staff," she said.

Ms Farmer said the Government were still considering recommendations to use GPS trackers to release children into the community and raise the age of criminal responsibility.