The new Cherry Creek Youth Justice Precinct will open its doors and begin housing young people within weeks, delivering the Andrews Labor Government’s plan to build a contemporary youth justice facility that supports the rehabilitation of young people and keeps staff and the community safe.
The Precinct will take on the first cohort of males aged between 15 and 18 by August, providing improved facilities for staff and young people and better access to services that help break the cycle of reoffending.
Purpose-built design features include an intensive intervention community, a specialised primary health centre, and two mental health units. It will accommodate young people in smaller units of four, so staff can provide more targeted and individual support in a safer environment – including modern security systems.
The Precinct will provide more education and training opportunities, including VCE and VET courses. Educational and vocational services will be delivered through a new partnership between Parkville College, the Gordon TAFE and Virtual Schools Victoria.
In line with working in a specialised facility, all staff at Cherry Creek will receive additional training and responsibilities that support the delivery of psychosocial programs and case management.
The opening of the Cherry Creek precinct represents a new era for Victoria’s youth justice system, making way for the closure of the aging Malmsbury precinct, which has been operational since 1965, by the end of 2023.
Young people at Malmsbury will be progressively transferred to the Cherry Creek and Parkville precincts across the next six months. Staff will also be provided with a range of supports including opportunities to transition into other roles, as well as career advice, Targeted Separation Packages and incentive payments paid over the next six months.
The existing Parkville Youth Justice Precinct will continue operating, ensuring all staff and young people in custody have access to fit-for-purpose facilities. Youth Justice staff at Parkville will also be backed with better pay and training along with additional workforce support.
The opening of Cherry Creek and increased support for Parkville staff follows recommendations of the Armytage-Ogloff review into Victoria’s youth justice system, which has been backed with more than $1.2 billion from the Labor Government.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Youth Justice Enver Erdogan
“The opening of the Cherry Creek Youth Justice Precinct marks a new era of modern, fit-for-purpose support for young people, better safety for staff and ultimately a safer community for all Victorians.”
“We are immensely grateful to the staff at Malmsbury for the vital work they do every day – our support package will help give certainty to their future and provide new opportunities to work with people in our justice system.”
Quote attributable to Youth Justice Commissioner Andrea Davidson
“I know this will be a difficult time for our staff at Malmsbury – I thank them for their dedication and commitment to young people in our care. We will continue talking to our staff across Youth Justice to provide regular updates about the closure and ensure they are supported.”
Reviewed 13 June 2023