Dylan had a troubled early life, and had been expelled and or excluded from primary schools in Alice Springs due to assaulting others, including breaking another child's arm in kindergarten. Dylan has been in and out of juvenile detention since he was 11 years old, for car theft, robbery and assault. He has been involved in more than 205 prison incidents of, self harm, assault on staff and others (some requiring hospitalisation of victims) since he was jailed for aggravated robbery and endangering a police officer in 2014. Voller has served two of the three sentences given to him over an ice-fueled crime spree in which he attacked a man and tried to run down a policeman. He spent time in Alice Springs Youth Detention Centre and the behavioral management unit at Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in Darwin. Dylan has a long history of self harm and suicidal actions requiring intervention by staff in juvenile facilities. During that time he was allegedly restrained by the neck physically thrown into his cell, isolated, stripped naked and tear gassed.
Footage of Voller shackled to a restraining chair within the adult Alice Springs correctional center after a self harm incident, in a spit-hood due to spitting at staff multiple times, was featured on the ABC TV program Four Corners' episode "Australia's Shame" in July 2016. It caused widespread outrage and prompted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to announce a royal commission into the treatment of youth in the child protection and youth detention systems in the Northern Territory. Mistreatment in youth detention had been widely reported prior to the Four Corners report.
He has publicly apologised for his crimes.
Voller gave limited evidence at the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory in December 2016.
In 2017 it was discovered that Voller's confidential files were dumped at the Alice Springs rubbish tip.
- "Dylan Voller: Timeline of teenager's mistreatment in NT youth detention". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. ABC News. 27 July 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
- Meldrum-Hanna, Caro; Fallon, Mary; Worthington, Elise (26 July 2016). "AUSTRALIA'S SHAME". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Four Corners. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
- Karp, Paul (26 July 2016). "Malcolm Turnbull announces royal commission into Northern Territory detention". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
- Wild, Kate (27 July 2016). "The NT has known about mistreatment of juveniles for years. So why has nothing happened?". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. ABC News. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
- Wild, Kate. "Cable ties, restraint chairs to be used on children in custody if new NT laws pass". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. ABC News. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
- Wild, Kate (13 November 2015). "NT prisons 'aren't necessarily pleasant places', Minister says, as human rights lawyer condemns hooding of 17yo detainee". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. ABC News. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
- "Four Corners: Dylan Voller releases letter apologising for crimes, thanking community for support". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. ABC News. 27 July 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
- Vanovac, Neda (12 December 2016). "Dylan Voller gives evidence before NT royal commission, says he felt like he was 'going to die'". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. ABC News. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
- Bardon, Jane (2 February 2017). "Dylan Voller, former Don Dale youth detainee, granted early release from prison". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. ABC News. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
- Aikman, Amos (13 March 2017). "Dylan Voller leads protest at juvenile justice royal commission". The Australian. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
- Sinclair, Corey (5 July 2017). "Dylan Voller angry after confidential files dumped at Alice Springs tip shop". NT News. Retrieved 7 July 2017.