State Government-run Institutions

The Queensland Government established reformatory schools and detention centres to provide institutional care and confinement for young people deemed to be in the need of ‘correction’. The Department of Child Safety are responsible for the management of these government-run institutions.

Brisbane Youth Detention Centre

In July 2001, the Queensland Government established the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre, situated at 99 Wolston Park Road, Wacol, QLD. Brisbane Youth Detention Centre was previously known as the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre.

Brisbane Youth Detention Centre is still running to this day. Brisbane Youth Detention Centre operates as a detention centre for male and female children between the ages of 10 and 17 who had been refused bail and remanded in custody, or who have been sentenced by the courts to a period of detention. Children are typically confined at Brisbane Youth Detention Centre by a court order.

Brisbane Youth Detention Centre is managed by managerial staff who report to and are supervised by the Queensland government (through its agencies).

History of Abuse at Brisbane Youth Detention Centre

Former detainees of Brisbane Youth Detention Centre have reported that they have suffered sexual abuse whilst at Brisbane Youth Detention Centre. Survivors have reported that the sexual abuse frequently occurred under the guise of strip searches and that these strip searches for alleged possession of banned items became avenues for repeated incidents of sexual abuse they suffered.

In August 2016, the Queensland Attorney-General ordered an Independent Review of Youth Detention Centres in Queensland. The Review determined that the lack of CCTV security at youth detention centres, including Brisbane Youth Detention Centre, helped to facilitate abuse of child detainees and allowed it to go on undetected. Further, the Review found that detention centre staff were often never held accountable for their wrongful actions. A recommendation was made for detention centres, including Brisbane Youth Detention Centre, to upgrade the CCTV network, including the introduction of body-worn cameras (which has since been implemented).

Between November 2016 and February 2017, the Queensland government conducted investigations into the management of children at the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre. The investigation report provided that detainees at Brisbane Youth Detention Centre reported that staff had threatened to transfer them into a unit with violent youths if they misbehaved. These detainees further reported that staff members at Brisbane Youth Detention Centre were paying young detainees with soft drinks to assault other detainees.

In May 2021, an ABN article provides the story of a man who was sexually abused after being strip searched by a worker in Brisbane Youth Detention Centre when he was aged 16 in 2001.

We are specialist abuse lawyers and can help you receive acknowledgement, meaningful apology and financial resolution from those institutions and systems of power that failed to protect you from harm. If you would like advice in relation to a childhood or adult sexual, physical and/or psychological/emotional abuse claim in any jurisdiction in Australia, please reach out to the author, Emily Wright, at Littles Lawyers today.

Further Abuse Law information written by our Emily Wright can be found on our website.

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