Eight young people in Central Australia are wearing electronic monitoring devices while there have been no break-outs from the juvenile detention facility since mid last year, Territory Families has revealed in response to questions from the Alice Springs News.
The Darwin shooting spree has attracted attention to the surveillance devices which come in the form of bracelets and anklets.
Territory Families says from July 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019 there were 55 occasions when device straps were tampered with in Alice Springs.
“If a young person breaches their electronic monitoring device conditions, Territory Families is notified and a Senior Youth Outreach Re-engagement Officer will work with the young person to make sure appropriate levels of accountability and support strategies are in place to meet their bail conditions,” says the department.
“If a breach is detected, Territory Families notify police. Breaches include strap tampering, committing further offences and a charge by police and leaving their place of residence and not being located.”
The wearing of the devices is ordered by the courts, says the department.
“It is the responsibility of Territory Families to follow through with the consequences and to work with young people to make sure they meet these requirements” such as remaining in a designated area.
The devices are “monitored and used to hold young people accountable for their actions, work to change behaviour and reduce the number young people in youth detention”.
The department says there have been four escapes from the Alice Springs Youth Detention Centre since Territory Families was established in September 2016, when it took over the juvenile detention facility adjacent to the Alice Springs gaol.
The last escape was by a single young person on July 17, 2018.
“Territory Families has undertaken significant work to improve the detention centre’s security and amenity since taking over management of the facility [including] raising the height of the perimeter fences to 5.4 metres.
“This work was undertaken in October 2018 and there have been no attempted escapes since then.”