Youth justice centres - Adjournment (8.2.2017)

Written on the 10 February 2017

8 February 2017



GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB - Southern Metropolitan)

My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Families and Children.

Whilst we have been debating issues around the crisis in youth justice today, the issue I want to speak about is in relation to the staff who have been severely impacted by incidents, events and very severe occurrences throughout the youth justice system, specifically since 2015. As members know, I have been very concerned about the number of riots, threats, assaults and other really very demeaning and alarming threats made, especially to female staff. I understand that there have been a number of threats of rape. I understand that a number of females have been bashed. I understand that other staff have also been constantly threatened and physically hurt. There is not only the physicality of those situations I have described but the ongoing mental and psychological trauma they have also been experiencing whilst undertaking their work.

The effects of the ongoing situation and of trying to deal with what has been going on in youth justice, especially during recent times with the severe incidents that we have been discussing today, have meant that staff have really been suffering. I have spoken to some of the staff members who have quite literally been fearing for their lives. They have been fearing for their lives, and they have been fearing for those of other offenders in the youth justice facilities as well. They feel they have not been able to do the work they were discharged to do, because of the ongoing dangerous situation.

It is concerning that these situations are ongoing, that many of these staff are on stress leave and extended sick leave and that they are wanting some provision from the government to assist with these issues. The action I seek is that the minister provide the house with the details of counselling and support provided to those staff who have experienced physical assaults, threats of rape and other abuse resulting in them fearing for their own safety and of course their wellbeing in the context of all of the incidents I have just highlighted since 2015.

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