New look 'juvie' tender is released


The design for the redevelopment of the Alice Springs Youth Detention Centre – at its present location – is now complete and the construction tender has been released.

Left: Territory Families Minister Dale Wakefield talking to media at the existing facility. Photo from our archive, May 2019. 

The $13.7 million project is set to support 65 local jobs.


Construction is expected to start in May this year with the redevelopment completed in April 2021.


Redevelopment of the centre includes:


  • A new reception, security and screening area for all visitors and staff. High quality scanning technology will minimise the need for physical searches of young people, visitors, service providers and staff, and ensures better security.


  • Height of external perimeter fencing will be increased to 5.4 metres. The fencing will be constructed of anti-climb mesh to ensure the security of the facility. A cowl (fixed barrel) topper will be installed on the majority of the external fencing to provide a strong security reinforcement and deterrent.


  • New learning hub and large Vocational Education and Training (VET) area that will enable the delivery of courses and hands-on learning. A fully-equipped training kitchen will support young people to advance their learning in life skills while equipping them with VET qualifications.  Young people will be given a greater range of training opportunities to get them back on track and away from a life of crime.


  • New visitor facility, to encourage family access and allow for group activities that focus on building connection to country and culture. 


  • New IT-rich visitor and service provider spaces with video conferencing technology. This means young people in the centre will no longer require transportation to the watch house by police when they are required to attend court. The spaces can also be used to host case conferences with family members, the young person, police, case workers and lawyers.


  • New medical and health centre, which will ensure qualified medical service providers can deliver the treatment required for complex young people in detention.


  • Redevelopment of accommodation. The reconfiguration of the accommodation blocks will reduce the reliance on shared bedrooms (current, at right). This will improve the safety, security and wellbeing of detainees and staff.

Source: Territory Families Minister Dale Wakefield media release.
UPDATE Sat 2:30am
Territory Families, upon request from the Alice Springs News, provided the following summary of works carried out on the “juvie” since the the current government came to power in 2016.
Since Territory Families took over the management of youth detention centres in the NT $5.6m has been spent on fix and make safe works and upgrades at the Alice Springs Youth Detention Centre.
The facility was an old low security female dormitory and was not fit for purpose when Territory Families took over management of the centre.
This includes:

  • Expansion and upgrade of perimeter fencing.
  • Replacing barred windows with reinforced plastic and upgrades of other windows to shatter-proof plastic.
  • Installation of amenities for girls in detention, separate from male areas.
  • Drinking water and toilets installed in all rooms.
  • Establishment of a stand-alone education building.
  • Repurposing of facilities to include a control room and medical room.
  • Installation of air-conditioning.
  • Installation and upgrades of existing CCTV.
  • Upgrades to perimeter fencing.
  • Upgraded oval.

These additions and upgrades were necessary for the safety, security and wellbeing of staff and young people in the centre. The redevelopment of the centre will build on the infrastructure improvements that have already been completed. The new redevelopment will ensure that the needs of the young people, staff and visitors are met into the future.
The $13.7 million redevelopment will improve the overall security and amenity for young people, visitors, service providers and staff.
Key features include:

  • Increased services for the rehabilitation of young people including education and training.
  • Enhanced security fencing and electronic monitoring.
  • New program delivery spaces for a range of organisations to deliver services.
  • New admissions and induction area.
  • New medical and health area.
  • New visitor facilities for families, case managers and legal representatives.
  • New accommodation for female young people.
  • New learning hub for education and vocational training delivery.
  • New sports and playing field.
  • Redeveloped accommodation areas including refurbished kitchens, dining and recreational areas.



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