Systemic failures by the Andrews Labor Government to manage Victoria’s youth justice system are once again on display.
Following the breakout at the Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre on Saturday, it has been revealed that internal recommendations to fortify and upgrade the security of the unit were rejected by the Victorian Youth Justice management and the Government.
It has been reported by the ABC, that this appalling failure by the Government resulted in two young men smashing their way through the plastered ceiling of their cells and escaping via the roof cavity of the Malmsbury facility.
Alarmingly, concerns were raised about the poor security some three years ago by senior management.
Staff at the facility are also calling for more action to protect them after a spate of violence inside Malmsbury, resulted it being labelled as one of ‘the most hazardous workplaces in Australia, with workers sent to hospital after assaults by detainees at an average rate of almost one a month’.
Despite Labor being in office for eight years, the Premier declined to express confidence in the management of the Youth Justice Centre.
He also failed to express confidence in his third Minister for Youth Justice in this term alone.
Shadow Minister for Child Protection and Youth Justice, Dr Matthew Bach, said “Despite calls from management, as far back as 2019, to upgrade this facility the Andrews Government has continued to place vulnerable young people, staff and the Victorian community at risk of harm”.
“This is yet another example of the Premier passing the buck.”
“Labor is onto their third Minister for Youth Justice in Victoria since the last election. After eight years of inaction, excuses, and buck-passing, it is time for Minister Sonya Kilkenny to take action and upgrade the facility”.
Shadow Minister for Child Protection and Youth Justice, Dr Matthew Bach