Melbourne Juvenile Justice Centre history in brief
In late 1993, the Turana Youth Training Centre closed for the construction of the new Melbourne Juvenile Justice Centre (MJJC), located on the same site at 900 Park Street, Parkville.
The young people from Turana were transferred to the newly constructed MJJC complex within a secure perimeter, with four 15-bed accommodation units, a program and recreation facility, and a reception area.
The MJJC was fully operational by April 1994 and accommodated the following groups:
- 15–17-year-old males who were remanded or sentenced by the Children’s Court
- 17–21-year-old males who were sentenced by an adult court.
The Senior Youth Training Centre
The Senior Youth Training Centre or Classification A (Class A) Unit accommodated a maximum of 24 young men on sentences from an adult court under the dual-track system.
The four accommodation units included:
- Remand – for those awaiting court dates
- Westgate – for those with either short-term sentences or considered a low security risk and able to participate in outings
- Southbank – for those with medium- to long-term sentences
- Eastern Hill –maximum security, for those with long-term sentences, considered a security or absconding risk.
In addition, the site included the Senior Youth Training Centre, previously called Classification A Unit, for offenders aged 17–20 years who had been ordered by an adult court to serve their sentence there instead of imprisonment. This unit had not been upgraded during the redevelopment, and was demolished in 2002.
In 1999, 10 beds were established for the Senior Youth Training Centre at the Acheron Bush Camp site near Buxton, 120 kilometres northeast of Melbourne – a low security accommodation option. A small group of six to 10 young men were classified to Acheron, an open campsite with no physical perimeter security provisions.
The Acheron Bush Camp closed in 2008. In 2004, a new 26-bed remand unit was established at the MJJC.
Warning about distressing information
This guide contains information that some people may find distressing. If you experienced abuse as a child or young person in an institution mentioned in this guide, it may be a difficult reading experience. Guides may also contain references to previous views, policies and practices that are regrettable and do not reflect the current views, policies or practices of the department or the State of Victoria. If you find this content distressing, please consult with a support person either from the Department of Health and Human Services or another agency.
The Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 repealed most of the Children and Young Persons Act 1989. On 23 April 2007, the name of the young offender programs changed from ‘juvenile justice’ to ‘youth justice’. The Melbourne Juvenile Justice Centre was renamed the Melbourne Youth Justice Centre (MYJC).
In 2016, the MYJC remains an operational facility for sentenced youth, part of the Parkville Youth Justice Precinct comprising two separate custodial centres: Parkville Youth Residential Centre (930 Park Street, Parkville); and Melbourne Youth Justice Centre (900 Park Street, Parkville).
The Children and Young Persons Act 1989 also replaced the terms ‘ward of state’ (introduced by the Neglected Children’s Act 1887) and ‘trainee’ (introduced by the Social Welfare Act 1960), with the new term, ‘children in need of protection’. The old terminology was phased out in the 1990s, whereafter both child protection cases and sentenced young people were classified as ‘clients’.
Young people who entered into the youth justice system before implementation of the 1989 Act, kept their trainee case history files, and not the later Client Relationship Information System institutional files (JJ CRIS prefix). This explains why the older records continued until the late 1990s, well after the terminology had changed.
The term ‘client’ is still used for all care leavers in Victoria.
Please note that the content of this administrative history is provided for general information only and does not purport to be comprehensive. The department does not guarantee the accuracy of this administrative history. For more information on the history of child welfare in Australia, see .
- Melbourne Juvenile Justice Centre Records Disposal Project: finding aid, Archival Services, Department of Human Services, July 1997.
List of records held by the department
Notes for readers of the guide:
- Did you know that care leavers and wards of state may have both a central departmental file and also an institutional file? For information relating to the central management of care leavers and wards of state, please consult the guide on Central department wardship and out-of-home care records.
- The reader will see the terms ‘trainee’ and ‘client’ in this guide. They both refer to the sentenced youth residing in the Melbourne Juvenile Justice Centre / Melbourne Youth Justice Centre. The term ‘trainee’ seems to have been phased out in the 1990s when the Youth Training Centres became Juvenile Justice Centres with the implementation of the Children and Young Persons Act 1989. In 2007, the title again changed to Youth Justice Centre with the implementation of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005.
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Reviewed 10 August 2016