Media Releases - 30 September 2020

Searches in Custody

The Commissioner for Children and Young People Leanne McLean today welcomed the release of the State Government’s Youth Justice Amendment (Searches in Custody) Bill 2020 for consultation.

“The draft Bill aims to implement recommendations I made in May 2019 to Government on the searches of children and young people in custody,” Ms McLean said.

“Specifically, the draft Bill reflects the Government’s acceptance of my recommendation that the law governing searches of children in custody should be clarified and consolidated in one piece of legislation.

“I commend the collaborative work undertaken by Government agencies to respond to the issues raised in my advice.”

Ms McLean said she was pleased to note, based on information received from Government, that the rates of strip searches of children across both Hobart and Launceston reception prisons are now down to around 10–15%.

“This represents a very different approach to the one taken before 1 July 2019 when all children admitted to reception prisons were subject to strip searches regardless of the level of risk present.”

Ms McLean said she will consider the draft Bill and intends to make a submission which will be made available on her website.

“I will of course continue to monitor the effect of changes in practice and policy and the effect of the proposed legislative reform.”