Alice Springs Youth Detention Centre

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Alice Springs Youth Detention Centre
Location Alice Springs, Northern Territory
Status Operational
Security class Maximum, for juvenile males and females
Capacity 10
Opened September 1998[1]
Managed by Northern Territory Correctional Services

The Alice Springs Youth Detention Centre formerly known as Alice Springs Juvenile Holding Centre, an Australian medium to maximum security prison for juvenile males and females, is located in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia.


The centre was designed for use as a short-term holding and remand centre for up to four days and can hold up to ten juveniles of either sex. Longer remand periods or sentences are moved to Don Dale Juvenile Detention Centre in Darwin.[1][2]

Despite this being against the recommendations of the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, there is no plan to establish a longer term juvenile detention centre in Alice Springs.[3] In February 2011, the Northern Territory Government announced plans to open a Juvenile Detention Facility in Alice Springs with place for 24 detainees.[citation needed]

Four Corners program[edit]

Graphic footage of repeated abuse of children at Don Dale Juvenile Detention Centre and in Alice Springs was featured in ABC's Four Corners episode "Australia's Shame", which aired on 25 July 2016.[4] The program also showed a 17-year-old boy shackled and hooded in a chair in Alice Springs.[5] The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said it was "shocked" at the "appalling treatment" of the detainees, which violates the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, to which Australia is party.[6]

Following national outrage, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced a Royal Commission into Juvenile Detention in the Northern Territory.[7] John Elferink was sacked as Corrections Minister the morning after the program aired. The corrections and justice portfolios were taken on by Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles.[8] Use of restraint chairs and spithoods were then suspended.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Annual Report" (PDF). Northern Territory Correctional Services. 2001. p. 21. ISSN 1322-6312. 
  2. ^ "Juvenile Justice". Northern Territory Government: Department of Justice. Archived from the original on 4 July 2007. Retrieved 8 July 2007. 
  3. ^ "No plans for Alice youth detention centre". ABC News. Australia. 12 August 2004. Retrieved 8 July 2007. 
  4. ^ Caro Meldrum-Hanna; Elise Worthington. "Evidence of 'torture' of children held in Don Dale detention centre uncovered by Four Corners". Four Corners. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 27 July 2016. 
  5. ^ Doran, Matthew; Anderson, Stephanie. "Royal commission into NT youth detention to investigate possible human rights breaches". ABC News. Retrieved 29 July 2016. 
  6. ^ "UN 'shocked' at Don Dale inmate abuse". Sky News. 30 July 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2016. 
  7. ^ Hunter, Fergus (27 July 2016). "Malcolm Turnbull calls royal commission into youth abuse at Northern Territory's Don Dale detention centre". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 28 July 2016. 
  8. ^ "John Elferink sacked from Corrections in wake of Four Corners report; Adam Giles alleges culture of cover-up". ABC News. 26 July 2016. Retrieved 28 July 2016. 
  9. ^ Davidson, Helen (28 July 2016). "Northern Territory halts use of restraint chairs and spithoods in youth detention". Guardian Australia. Retrieved 28 July 2016.