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  • Custodial operations
  • Community services

Custodial operations

Custodial facilities are fully operational

Youth Justice is continuing to operate its custodial facilities at the Parkville and Malmsbury precincts.

Youth Justice has a COVID-19 management plan in place which is frequently reviewed in line with current health advice.

Personal visits

As of Saturday 6 March 2021

In-person personal visits have recommenced, following a suspension of in-person visits in line with health advice.

Virtual visits via Zoom bookings remain available.

Young people can speak with their families and case managers regarding booking visits.

Families can also request visits by calling the visits booking number on 1300 064 035.

Professional visits

As of Saturday 6 March 2021

All professional visits will return on-site. Professional visits may include visits from legal representatives, court related assessments or the Independent Visitors Program.

Young people can continue to access virtual professional visits, alongside face-to-face visits.

Essential face-to-face professional visits have continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with case-by-case assessments of what constitutes an essential professional visit.

Current admissions process

All young people entering custody are tested for COVID-19 on arrival.

From Friday 5 March 2021, all new admissions to Youth Justice custody will be placed in isolation until they return one negative COVID-19 test result (except in certain limited circumstances).

COVID-19 isolation arrangements are vital to protect young people and staff and have helped prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Youth Justice custodial facilities.

Isolation arrangements are being continuously reviewed, based on transmission risk in the broader community and current health advice

Meeting young people's needs

Where required, Youth Justice is equipped to deliver services remotely, including:

  • education and case management services
  • visits for young people with loved ones
  • cultural and religious supports
  • medical and mental health checks (and treatment as needed)
  • Primary health and mental health services – including nursing, general practitioner (GP) and specialist Intensive Intervention Unit services – continue to be delivered on-site when required, in line with COVIDSafe principles.

Education and training

Education and training programs are being delivered face-to-face, and have continued to operate throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Temporary leave

The temporary leave program is being managed subject to a case-by-case risk assessment, balancing health advice and young people’s rehabilitative needs.

Mitigating transmission risks

A number of precautionary measures are in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in youth justice facilities.

This includes the compulsory wearing of face masks by all staff, visitors and contractors, temperature testing for staff on arrival and screening of all visitors and staff when they call to book a visit or attend a Youth Justice Precinct.

In line with the public health requirements all staff, visitors and contractors will be required to wear a fitted face mask when on site at Youth Justice Precincts. There are limited exceptions to this requirement, including where wearing a face mask would pose a risk to health and safety, or where not wearing a mask is necessary to engage with a young person in a particular circumstance.

Advice about face masks and the latest information and updates for Victoria can be found at coronavirus.vic.gov.au (External link)

Community services

Continuing our strong community services

Youth Justice is continuing to supervise young people who are subject to community-based orders.

Using remote supervision

Throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Youth Justice has used remote service delivery to supervise young people, with the assistance of technology (for example, Zoom and Skype). Face-to-face supervision has also been maintained throughout the pandemic for some young people. 

For young people who do not have access to such technology, Youth Justice has provided devices to facilitate their ongoing supervision.

Increasing in-person supervision

Youth Justice is undertaking a staged increase to in-person supervision, recognising the importance of outreach functions and face-to-face approaches for young people. 

Supporting the operation of Courts

The Children’s Court Youth Diversion service is receiving support to continue diverting children and young people from further contact with the justice system. 

Children and young people in custody who need to appear before courts can do so remotely via technology and audio-visual link. 

Youth Justice is also supporting children and young people on supervised community-based orders who need to appear before courts. Young people can access the courts remotely via secure technology, or attend in person, as directed by the court.