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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 24 June 2021) . . Page.. 2051 ..

That the Assembly take note of the following paper:

Bimberi Youth Justice Centre—Bimberi Headline Indicators Report—June 2021

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Seniors, Veterans, Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health and Minister for Mental Health) (3.15): I am pleased to present the seventh Bimberi Headline Indicators Report. This report demonstrates the ACT government’s ongoing commitment both to transparency for Bimberi Youth Justice Centre’s operations and performance, and to the safety, health and wellbeing of the young people detained there.

The seventh report provides data for the first and second quarters of the 2020-21 financial year. It provides for continuing scrutiny of a range of indicators relating to the safety and care of the young people in Bimberi and provides trend data to monitor performance against operational indicators.

In the first half of the 2020-21 financial year, there was a decrease in the number of young people detained in Bimberi, with an average of 11 young people in Bimberi per day. There has also been an increase in staffing numbers, which means better outcomes for young people in Bimberi.

Staff recruitment has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of operational lockdowns required in the first half of 2020-21, with only nine operational lockdowns lasting for one hour each. By the same time last year, Bimberi had already needed to utilise operational lockdowns on 145 occasions. Reduced lockdowns allow young people more time to participate in education, recreation, and social and emotional activities.

Bimberi continues to recruit biyearly to ensure staffing numbers adequately meet operational needs. A recruitment round is currently underway and 12 new youth workers are expected to complete their required training in mid-June 2021.

There were no category 1 incidents in the first half of 2020-21, and there was a 33 per cent decrease in category 2 incidents when compared to the same period in the previous year. However, the number of assaults by young people against staff and other young people has increased. This is highly regrettable, and in many instances reflects the trauma that many young people in Bimberi have experienced in their young lives. Reducing assaults for the safety of staff and young people requires ongoing support to develop prosocial behaviours and relationships. This work is ongoing.

The number of segregation directions made in the first half of 2020-21 remains high. This is largely due to the ongoing public health emergency in the ACT and the precautionary approach to test all young people displaying symptoms of COVID-19. Bimberi works closely with ACT Health to ensure that the health and safety measures in place respond to the specialised environment of Bimberi and the current level of COVID-19 risk in the community.

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