The Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has commented in State Parliament on the recent incidents at the Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre located in her electorate, calling on the Andrews Labor Government to take action to protect youth justice workers at the facility.
During an adjournment debate directed to the Minister for Youth Justice Ben Carroll, Ms Lovell called on Mr Carroll to take immediate steps to ensure the safety of youth justice workers at the centre and give a commitment to provide more staff and resources to reduce the number of violent incidents committed by inmates at Malmsbury.
The Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre has a capacity to house approximately 139 sentenced or remanded male children and young people aged between 15 and 21 years. Violent attacks by inmates on workers at Malmsbury have become a regular occurrence with 311 assaults on staff recorded at the facility in the first 120 days of 2019.
The situation at the centre reached crisis point two weeks ago when staff enacted a health and safety cease work and walked out of the facility, after a guard was struck 19 times in the head by a cricket bat and conveyed to hospital with serious head injuries.
This incident came the day after a worker was stabbed in the neck by an inmate armed with a shiv made from a broom handle and a week earlier three staff members were attacked by inmates with one worker taken to hospital for treatment.
Comments attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell:
“Youth justice workers are subjected daily to verbal and physical abuse, being spat on and receiving threats of sexual assault from inmates and it is clear the Andrews Labor Government and Ben Carroll have lost control of Victoria’s youth justice system.
“I call on the Minister as a matter of urgency to take immediate action to protect our youth justice workers and give a commitment to provide more staff and resources to reduce the number of violent incidents committed by inmates at Malmsbury Youth Training Centre.”
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