Tasmania's Acting Children's Commissioner wants an overhaul of youth justice to keep more young people out of detention, but has stopped short of recommending the closure of Ashley Youth Detention Centre.
Acting Children's Commissioner Elizabeth Daly today released a report into Alternatives to Secure Youth Detention recommending greater investment to support at-risk children before they enter the detention system.
Ms Daly said Ashley takes up a disproportionately high percentage of the $14 million youth budget, costing about $10 million a year to run, despite housing only 21 people on an average day.
''(This is) despite the lack of evidence to suggest it is effective in deterring young offenders or that it promotes and facilitates reintegration into the community upon release,'' Ms Daly said.
She is calling for an investigation of using small residential facilities to provide community-based, moderate care and secure care programs, a model similar to one that operates in the United States.
She has also recommended an expansion of the Youth Court, which currently only operates in Hobart and the introduction of a bail support program.
The full report is available at www.childcomm.tas.gov.au