Your child's rights in detention
COVID-19 update to visit availability
COVID-19 practices continue to apply to face-to-face visits, including:
- social distancing
- COVID-19 health screening for everyone who enters a youth detention centre
- mask wearing (highly recommended but not mandatory).
Learn more on our page about youth detention and COVID-19.
Every child has rights, including children in detention.
When your child arrives at the detention centre, we will give them information about their rights, in language that they can understand.
Right to be safe and well
Youth detention staff will keep your child safe.
Your child will not be treated unfairly because of their:
We will look after your child’s physical and mental wellbeing. Your child will have access to health care including:
- seeing a doctor or nurse when they need to
- mental health care (and transfer to a mental health facility if needed)
- help if they have problems with drugs and alcohol
- access to treatments for special health needs.
Right to be rehabilitated
While your child is in detention, we will help them to address the issues that led to their offending behaviour. Your child will:
- take part in activities and programs that help with their rehabilitation
- have a say in decisions about their rehabilitation and other issues affecting them
- go to school or complete training to learn useful work skills.
Right to practice their cultural and religious beliefs
Your child has the right to practice and take part in services that respect and promote their cultural background while they are in detention. This includes:
- cultural activities and celebrations
- seeing religious or spiritual advisors.
Each detention centre has a dedicated cultural unit who are able to help young people connect to their culture, family and community.
Right to appropriate discipline
If your child behaves badly while in detention, we will deal with them in line with the rules of the centre. While your child might lose privileges or have to do extra chores, we will not discipline them by taking away their basic rights. We will protect and promote your child's rights in all of our decision making and interactions with them.
Your child will not:
- be punished unfairly
- have force or restraints used on them unless necessary, and never to punish them
- be separated from other young people as punishment – separation will only be used to keep your child or others safe
- be searched without a reason and appropriate approval.
If your child breaks the law we may refer them to the police.
Your child will be treated with respect and dignity at all times. We will also encourage your child to treat others with respect and dignity.
Right to maintain relationships with family and other significant people
We will help your child to maintain appropriate relationships and establish new relationships that will provide them support while in youth detention and when they return to their community.
Your child can have regular contact with their family and friends through visits, phone calls and mail.
Right to be heard
We will allow your child to take part in planning processes and have a say about what happens to them, as much as possible.
Your child has the right to complain about something that has or has not happened to them in the youth detention centre.
You can also complain about something that has or has not happened at the youth detention centre, on their behalf.