Desert Knowledge precinct preferred for youth detention facility


2479 juvenile detention 7 OKBy ERWIN CHLANDA
The government prefers the Desert Knowledge precinct as a site for a new youth detention centre in Alice Springs, according to a media release from Families Minister Dale Wakefield.
This would offer the potential for local Aboriginal NGOs “to be a part of the new model which supports young people by focusing on culture and connectedness to family, along with education and training, while leveraging the expertise available at the Desert Knowledge Precinct”.
Talks with the precinct are under way.
Ms Wakefield says the current youth detention centre is not fit for purpose although it is currently undergoing a $1m plus refurbishment.
Ms Wakefield said the government has already announced $50m to respond to the Royal Commission recommendation in addition to the $20m already allocated.  She called on the Commonwealth Government to do them same “after they announced they will not put in $1 extra”.
She says: “We are taking action to fix the problems highlighted in the report while the Australian Government has walked away and is all talk and no action.
“CLP President and Senator Nigel Scullion and CLP Leader Gary Higgins have backed Canberra and are telling them not to help. They have walked away from the Territory’s most vulnerable and at-risk children – it’s shameful.”
PHOTO: Part of the current facility adjacent to the adult prison.


  1. A very traditional idea! This decolonised model of detention supports the original Desert Peoples’ Centre goals to educate all and to heal relationships. I hope everyone can work together to create the community these young people need.

  2. Oh My Gosh. The heart I wear on my sleeve is swelling with pride, my rose-coloured glasses are seeing rainbows all over our town.
    Rejoice people for the end of the malaise that effects us all is here, I feel so warm and fuzzy all over. I can’t wait for the programs to kick off and produce some wonderful future leaders.
    I wonder if Ms Wakefield is enjoying drinking from the poisoned chalice that is youth justice and I can’t wait to see the outcome of this “feel good, throw cash but achieve nothing” exercise.
    But I know some NGOs will produce some excellent statistics that will prove how effective “the program” is/was, by showing that the juvenile offenders stopped being juvenile offenders.
    It will probably have nothing to do with them turning 18.

  3. Carrot or the stick. They only way for people to improve. They have to see the benefits of not committing crime, for example not being sent to a hell hole if they do.
    If the consequence of committing a crime is being sent to daycare environment it doesn’t take much brain power to see that’s not going to work.
    It all starts with loving safe home environments and schooling. Get these right and everyone will be better off. I would like to see the stats on criminals that came from broken homes vs people from loving homes.
    Obviously it’s not going to be only one way but I bet it is heavily weighted one way.
    So answer this question and its the best start we could hope for: How do we get the home environments of all young kids to where they need to be to lay the foundation for a better society?

  4. Why not having a called / compulsory general meeting with all the parents of the recorded juvenile offenders?
    May be we will find out what are the deep reasons for the children be neglected:
    Lack of proper housing?
    Alcohol / drug addiction?
    Low self esteem?
    Normal teen rebellion with no fear of punishment unless it is corporal?


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