The Government’s decision to regazette Barwon adult jail as a youth justice facility is an act of utter bad faith, say human rights lawyers.
Only yesterday the Victorian Court of Appeal upheld the Supreme Court’s decision that the Victorian Government acted unlawfully in gazetting Barwon adult prison as a youth justice facility.
Hugh de Kretser, Executive Director at the Human Rights Law Centre, said that in the last six weeks, the Government has spent an extraordinary amount of resources defending the indefensible, putting children in the state’s most notorious adult jail.
“It is well and truly time for the Government to do the right thing and remove these children from the state’s highest-security adult jail. The Government can try again to change the name, but it cannot change the facts. Barwon adult prison remains unfit for children,” said Mr de Kretser.
“It is an extraordinary act of bad faith for the Minister to turn around and regazette Barwon adult jail, one day after the highest court in this State said that she acted unlawfully in transferring and detaining children there,” said Mr de Kretser.
It is understood that 11 children remain jailed in Barwon.
“Failing to remove these children from Barwon jail sends the worst possible message. We will advise our clients on their legal options in responding to this new attempt to hold children in an adult prison," said Mr de Kretser.
For media comments:
Hugh De Kretser: 0403 965 340
Ruth Barson: 0417 773 037
Michelle Bennett (HRLC Director of Communications): 0419 100 519