New youth detention centre

The Queensland Government is committed to keeping communities safe and changing the story for young people in our justice system.  

The government’s record investment in Queensland’s Youth Justice system in the 2019-20 budget included expanding existing facilities and building and staffing a new youth detention centre. 

The construction of a new 32 bed youth detention centre at Wacol is outlined in the Youth Justice Strategy Action Plan 2019-2021. It will cost approximately $150 million. 

We are building the centre to:

  • help support current needs
  • keep pace with population growth. 

Existing centres

Queensland currently has two youth detention centres:

  • Brisbane Youth Detention Centre is on the western outskirts of Brisbane at Wacol. 
  • Cleveland Youth Detention Centre is in Townsville. 

Queensland’s new youth detention centre

The new youth detention centre is being built near the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre at Wacol.  The government has not yet announced a name for the centre. 

The new centre will operate under its own operational model with some shared administration and ancillary services with the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre. The flexibility which comes with a smaller centre is expected to enable a more holistic approach and provide strengthened opportunities for both static and dynamic security measures.

We are building the centre in 2 stages. It will be in operation at the end of 2020.

The new centre will include:

  • 32 beds for young people on remand or sentenced
  • 5 accommodation units (3x 8 bed units and 2x 4 bed units)
  • education, health and recreation facilities, a yarning circle and a multi-purpose hall.

Operating model

The Youth Justice Strategy Action Plan 2019-2021 aims to reduce reoffending with strengthened and safe infrastructure. The delivery of the new centre aligns with this.

We will hold serious and repeat young offenders accountable for their behaviour and support them to address the causes of their offending, in a safe and secure environment.

The new centre’s operations will include a focus on:

  • extensive engagement with local traditional custodians of the land
  • building inclusive cultures that respect and promote human rights and diversity
  • actions and decisions compatible with human rights and obligations under the Human Rights Act 2019.

Young people will be able to access:

  • individualised case management
  • specialised programs and services
  • activities and programs such as:
    • education
    • training
    • employment
    • sport
  • the department’s Transition to Success program
  • restorative justice activities and programs
  • opportunities to give back to the community with practical and meaningful projects
  • onsite providers including Health and Education. 

More information

For more information, contact the project team at NYDC@youthjustice.qld.gov.au