Melbourne Youth Justice Centre - Riot (9.3.2016)
Written on the 9 March 2016
9 March 2016
GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB - Southern Metropolitan)
My adjournment matter this evening is for the attention of the Minister for Families and Children. The matter I wish to raise is in relation to the recent reports about the escalating loss of control by the Andrews government of the Melbourne Youth Justice Centre and the apparent intent of the minister to deflect any attempt at transparency.
On Network Ten news on 8 March there were reports of conflicting views of when Monday's riot actually started. The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) says that Monday's very serious riot started with the break-in to the tool shed on Sunday, but the Department of Health and Human Services denies that the two incidents are related. The minister's answer to this very serious accusation on that same news report was to say that teenagers can act spontaneously.In an article in the Herald Sun yesterday staff said that they can no longer control inmates aged 15 to 17 and are frightened of what may happen next time. A CPSU spokesman talked about affiliations of young people with adult crime organisations.
Victorians are worried about a gang culture developing or indeed escalating out of control amongst Victoria's child offenders and whether this government is out of its depth in addressing it. They have not forgotten that the youth justice system was in complete disarray under the previous Labor government.Over the last year I have repeatedly asked the minister questions on notice about category 1 and serious incident reports and other data. Her responses treat my questions on notice with contempt. The minister dismisses these valid requests and repeatedly writes that if I wish to access the data that I am requesting, I should look it up on the website of the Department of Health and Human Services. This government's and its minister's words about transparency are a complete farce.
My question relates to the reporting requirements for incidents within youth justice centres and whether they have changed since December 2015.
I ask the minister: are the reporting requirements, if changed, camouflaging the extent of the problem through less reporting of incidents due to definitional changes, and when will the minister make category 1 and serious incident data readily available?