Jesuit Social Services welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Commission for Children and Young People’s Inquiry into the use of isolation, separation and lockdowns in youth justice centres.

We believe that:

  • current approaches to children who display antisocial behaviour frequently fail to engage with them in ways that are developmentally appropriate
  • a range of initiatives that should be adopted in Victoria to prevent vulnerable children and young people from being detained in the first place, and to safeguard against inappropriate treatment in detention facilities

We call on the Victorian Government to:

  • ensure there are more ways for children and young people to voice their concerns
  • consider the impact of design of youth justice detention facilities on children ‘s behaviour and treatment
  • ensure that youth detention officers are trained in a trauma-informed youth specific therapeutic practice framework by experienced and qualified instructors
  • expand proven restorative justice programs across the state, and
  • adopt a restorative and welfare approach to anti-social behaviour in children under the age of 12 years.

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