- Current status
- Custodial operations
- Community services
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Current status – as at 30 January 2023
There is one young person in a Youth Justice Precinct who has tested positive to COVID-19. There are 11 staff members and contractors who have tested positive to COVID-19 and zero staff members identified as a close contact.
Over the past 7 days (23 January to 30 January), 13 staff and contractors have tested positive. Over this time, one young person tested positive. All cases are being managed in line with current public health advice.
Youth Justice has a COVID-19 management plan in place which is frequently reviewed in line with current public health advice.
COVID-19 admission arrangements for all new receptions remain in place.
Custodial facilities are 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 are being conducted remotely and in person.
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.
Face-to-face professional visits are being conducted in person and may include visits from legal representatives, court related assessments or the Independent Visitors Program.
Young people can also continue to access virtual professional 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 and are required to spend seven days in isolation.
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 public 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
- some medical and mental health checks.
Primary health and most 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 for most children and young people.
Temporary leave arrangements are now available to young people. Temporary leave is managed subject to a case-by-case risk assessment.
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 N95 face masks and eye protection 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.
Staff, visitors and contractors are also subject to Rapid Antigen Testing prior to entering a Youth Justice Precinct.
In line with public health requirements all staff, visitors and contractors will be required to wear a fitted N95 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
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 COVID-19 pandemic, Youth Justice has used remote service delivery to supervise young people, with the assistance of technology (for example, Zoom and Skype).
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
The level of face-to-face support to young people under Youth Justice supervision continues to be informed by public health advice, risks to community safety and the needs of young people and their families.
Supporting the operation of Courts
Youth Justice continues to work with the Children’s Court of Victoria during the pandemic to ensure court matters are progressed.
The Children’s Court Youth Diversion service continues to operate.
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.