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Own initiative investigation report : services provided by the Department of Correctional Services at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre



Own initiative investigation report : services provided by the Department of Correctional Services at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre

Other title

Report to the Minister


E-Publications; PublicationNT; E-Books




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).; The decision to conduct this self-initiated investigation was made by the former Children’s Commissioner, Dr Howard Bath, and was based on events that occurred at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre (‘Don Dale’) in the Behaviour Management Unit (‘BMU’) between 4 and 21 August 2014. This investigation was conducted in accordance with Section 10(1)(a)(ii) of the Children’s Commissioner Act 2013 (the Act) which allows the Commissioner, on his own initiative, to investigate a matter which may form the grounds for a complaint.


"Dear Minister. In accordance with section 43(2) of the Children's Commissioner Act 2013, I provide you with my final own initiative investigation based on events that occurred at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in the Behavius Management Unit between 4 and 21 August 2014'. p. 1.

Table of contents

Jurisdiction -- Formalities -- Background to investigation -- Process of investigation -- Investigation issues: issue 1; The decisions made and actions taken by Correctional Service staff at Don Dale in relation to young persons confined within the BMU on 21 August 2014 -- Issue 1 Findings -- Issue 2: The period of time young persons were confined within the BMU and the purpose of this procedure -- Issue 2 Findings -- Issue 3: The access young persons have had in regard to making a complaint to the Children’s Commissioner -- Issue 3 Findings -- Issue 4: The access young persons had to external service providers when confined within the BMU -- Issue 4 Findings -- Issue 5: The provisions in place to ensure the emotional and psychological welfare of young persons in the BMU -- Issue 5 Findings -- Issue 6: The contact young persons housed within the BMU have had with family members -- Issue 6 Findings -- Issue 7: The supervision and monitoring provided to the young persons whilst they were accommodated within the BMU -- Issue 7 Findings -- Recommendations -- Departmental response. -- Attachment A & B




Juvenile detention homes -- Northern Territory -- Darwin Region; Juvenile delinquents -- Rehabilitation -- Northern Territory

Publisher name

Northern Territory. Office of the Children's Commissioner

Place of publication

Casuarina (N.T.)


52 pages : illustrations, plans ; 30 cm.

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P a g e | 49 The proper use of PART (including competence certification if appropriate), with regular re-fresher courses for staff; and the regular review of all restraint / use of force reports; Critical incident management to ensure compliance with the Youth Justice Act; The proper use of all personal protection equipment available for use by staff; Knowledge and competence to safely manage the young persons in their care, to assess and respond to depression and other emotional stresses in order to effectively assess the potential of self-harm, and to positively engage with the detainees; and Consideration of a memorandum of understanding between NT Police and Correctional Services in relation to the training of staff in use of force tactics, negotiation and mediation, etc. Any other training recommendations contained in the Vita report. 2. In relation to its employment process, Correctional Services should consider psychometric testing in order to provide an objective measurement of job applicants skills, knowledge, abilities, attitudes, personality traits and education against the core requirements of the roles. 3. Correctional Services urgently conduct a job evaluation of all positions associated within the Youth Detention Centres so that they accurately reflect the responsibilities and requirements of the roles. 4. Correctional Services conduct a review of operational practices, and where necessary it should implement changes to policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Youth Justice Act and Regulations. To ensure the rights of the young person under the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, the review should include consideration of: The preparation, content and implementation of individual management plans under a management regime to ensure a consistent and structured multi-disciplinary methodology is applied; The operational practices surrounding the use of isolation and containment;

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