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Kids in juvenile detention on ‘a one-way ticket to the adult system’ amid ‘daily’ assaults

There are claims children and teens behind bars are being left behind because there are no therapeutic units available across the state.

The Public Service Association (PSA) says there is a serious problem in the system with more than 70 assaults reported over the past six months.

But General Secretary Stewart Little tells John Stanley if unreported assaults were included, he’d estimate the actual figure would be “far, far higher”.

“Unfortunately, you have a situation at the moment where these events are occurring virtually on a daily basis.”

Mr Little says juvenile detention centres are in desperate need of a therapeutic unit and the programs used in the adult system.

“We do this in the adult system. We do it with proven effect in the adult system. Why on earth are we not doing it in the juvenile system?”

He tells John that unless something changes, children behind bars are “virtually being given a one-way ticket to the adult system.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Acting Executive Director of NSW Juvenile Justice Steven Southgate has responded to Mr Little’s comments.

“We are very open to negotiations with the PSA on options that assist us managing high-risk detainees,” he tells John Stanley.

“We’ve got some really complex young people in our system and some of them require very, very close supervision.”

Click PLAY below to hear the Acting Executive Director’s response