|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
In late 1993, the Turana Youth Training Centre (VA 971) closed for the construction of the new Melbourne Youth Justice Centre (at the time called Melbourne Juvenile Justice Centre or MJJC), located on the same site at 900 Park Street, Parkville.
The young people from Turana were transferred to the newly constructed MJJC complex within a secure perimeter, with four 15-bed accommodation units, a program and recreation facility, and a reception area.
The MJJC was fully operational by April 1994 and accommodated the following groups:
- 15-17-year-old males who were remanded or sentenced by the Children's Court
- 17-21-year-old males who were sentenced by an adult court.
The Senior Youth Training Centre
The Senior Youth Training Centre or Classification A (Class A) Unit accommodated a maximum of 24 young men on sentences from an adult court under the dual-track system.
The four accommodation units included:
- Remand for those awaiting court dates
- Westgate for those with either short-term sentences or considered a low security risk and able to participate in outings
- Southbank for those with medium to long-term sentences
- Eastern Hill the maximum security section for those with long-term sentences who are considered a security or absconding risk.
In addition, the site included the Senior Youth Training Centre, previously called Classification A Unit, for offenders aged 17-20 years who had been ordered by an adult court to serve their sentence there instead of imprisonment. This unit had not been upgraded during the redevelopment, and was demolished in 2002.
In 1999, 10 beds were established for the Senior Youth Training Centre at the Acheron Bush Camp site near Buxton, 120 kilometres northeast of Melbourne - a low security accommodation option. A small group of six to 10 young men were classified to Acheron, an open campsite with no physical perimeter security provisions.
The Acheron Bush Camp closed in 2008. In 2004, a new 26-bed remand unit was established at the MJJC.
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The Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 repealed most of the Children and Young Persons Act 1989.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 Melbourne Juvenile Justice Centre was renamed the Melbourne Youth Justice Centre (MYJC).
1n 2009 the Melbourne Youth Justice Centre became part of the Parkville Youth Justice Precinct that comprises two separate custodial centres: Parkville Youth Residential Centre (930 Park Street, Parkville); and Melbourne Youth Justice Centre (900 Park Street, Parkville). As part of the same precinct, both centres have been able to maximise the efficient use of support services for their clients.
The MYJC remains an operational facility for sentenced youth.
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.
The term 'client' is still used for all care leavers in Victoria.