Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 03 Hansard (Thursday, 23 March 2017) . . Page.. 983 ..
today as she is travelling to attend the health ministerial council. I will endeavour to assist members with questions in the minister’s portfolios.
Questions without notice
Bimberi Youth Justice Centre—detainee transfers
MR COE: My question is to the Minister for Community Services and Social Inclusion. According to the Canberra Times of 15 March, young adult detainees at the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre who commit serious breaches are normally transferred to the AMC. Minister, what specific factors are taken into account in deciding whether a detainee is transferred from Bimberi to the AMC?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank the Leader of the Opposition for his question. Under legislation, a young person detained under the age of 18 years may remain in Bimberi until the age of 21. For detainees between the ages of 18 and 21, the senior manager of Bimberi may make the decision to transfer the young person to an adult facility, but only if this is deemed to be in the best interests of the young detainee or other young detainees at Bimberi.
In deciding whether the transfer should occur, the following must be considered: the young detainee’s views and wishes, maturity, developmental capacity and relevant known history; the time remaining on the young detainee’s sentence; the behaviour of the young detainee; whether a young detainee will likely be vulnerable in an adult centre; the availability of appropriate services or programs in an adult centre; and whether the young detainee is more likely to be rehabilitated in a youth detention place or an adult correction facility.
As you are aware, Madam Speaker, I am not able to discuss the specifics of any particular case. However, I can confirm that these issues are all considered in any decision on whether to transfer a young person from Bimberi to the AMC or not.
MR COE: Are 18-year-olds, especially given the situation where an 18-year-old was recently allegedly involved in an assault at Bimberi, transferred when there is a very serious breach, such as that which occurred, as reported in the paper?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank the Leader of the Opposition for his follow-up question. I am not sure that I can add much more. As I have said, I am not able to discuss the specifics of any individual case. All the factors that I listed earlier are taken into account in relation to any request or proposition to transfer a young person from Bimberi to the AMC.
MRS KIKKERT: What was the occupancy of Bimberi at the time of the alleged assault as reported in the Canberra Times?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mrs Kikkert for her question. I am not sure that I have information in front of me as to the number at that particular time. I have the number of staff members. So I will take that on notice and, if I can, I will get that answer by the end of question time.