|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
In 1965, the department opened the first stage of a new youth training centre at Malmsbury. On completion, the centre accommodated up to 150 male trainees in the 17-20-year age group in an open- to medium-security facility.
Malmsbury Youth Training Centre provided a secure residential facility and became the main centre for the department's Work Release Program for trainees. In 1976, Malmsbury provided supervision and support to some young offenders in transition to parole.
During the mid-1970s, dormitory-style accommodation was converted to smaller units with bedroom accommodation, enhancing classification and treatment options.
In 1985, statewide redevelopment was underway towards de-centralisation and community-based alternatives, prioritising services for pre-adolescent and adolescent wards and offenders held in Turana, Winlaton and Baltara. These institutions continued to operate in the short term, but as youth training centres providing programs for young people sentenced to detention.
Malmsbury was considered by Community Services Victoria to be an "(adult) youth training centre, this alternative to adult prison is termed a 'dual track' system and is unique to Victoria. It means that young offenders receive a Children's Court disposition rather than a prison sentence from the adult court.
The Children and Young Persons Act 1989 required that the provision of services for children and young people on protective orders be separated from those provided to young offenders in custody. The Act established different divisions in the Children's Court to completely separate child protection matters from criminal custodial matters. Prior to this, the Malmsbury Youth Training Centre accommodated wards of the state as well as young people remanded or sentenced for criminal matters. Around this time the name of Malmsbury changed from a Youth Training Centre to a Juvenile Justice Centre, which reflected the change of terminology defined in the new legislation (see Legislation and record keeping).
From 1994, following the closure of Langi Kal Kal, Winlaton and Turana, three remaining Victorian centres provided custodial services for young offenders: Malmsbury Juvenile Justice Centre, Melbourne Juvenile Justice Centre and the Parkville Youth Residential Centre.
Malmsbury became Victoria's main facility for 17 to 21 year old offenders serving a custodial order.
In 1994, a major redevelopment of Malmsbury commenced to consolidate all the youth justice centre functions for the 17-21 age group on a single site, and improve the centre's safety, security and program capacity
In December 1997, the new 75-bed centre at Malmsbury was opened. Malmsbury became Victoria's main facility for 17 to 21 year old offenders serving a custodial order.
In July 2015, a new 45-bed facility opened at the Malmsbury Youth Justice Precinct. The $46 million complex was built next to existing facilities but had a higher level of security and featured three new residential wings, administration offices, an educational and recreational area as well as a visitor room.
Malmsbury remains an operational facility for sentenced youth. It accommodates young men aged 18-21 years who have been sentenced to a youth justice custodial order by an adult court in Victoria. Young men live in a mixture of low- and high-security residential units.
Change of Name
The Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 repealed most of the Children and Young Persons Act 1989. On 23 April 2007, the name of the young offender programs changed from 'juvenile justice' to 'youth justice'. The Malmsbury Juvenile Justice Centre was renamed the Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre (MYJC).
1n 2009 the Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre was renamed Malmsbury Youth Justice Precinct.
Legislation and record keeping
The Children and Young Persons Act 1989 replaced the terms 'ward of state' (introduced by the Neglected Children's Act 1887) and 'trainee' (introduced by the Social Welfare Act 1960), with the new term, 'children in need of protection'. The old terminology was phased out in the 1990s, whereafter both child protection cases and sentenced young people were classified as 'clients'.
Young people who entered into the youth justice system before implementation of the 1989 Act, kept their trainee case history files, and not the later Client Relationship Information System institutional files (JJ CRIS prefix). This explains why the older records continued until the late 1990s, well after the terminology had changed.