THE Police Association has called for a re-look of Ashley Youth Detention Centre's systems, after three teenagers escaped from the facility for almost 12 hours.
The 15, 16 and 17-year-olds scaled a fence on the perimeter of the Deloraine centre about 3.40pm on Friday and fled into bushland.
A fourth teenager tried to escape but was caught.
Police searched for almost 11 hours before finding and detaining the trio at Penguin about 2.30am yesterday.
A gold Rolls-Royce, that was stolen from the Exton area on Friday, was also located at Penguin.
Police Association president Pat Allen said units from Deloraine, Launceston, Burnie and Devonport were involved in the search and it tied up a lot of resources.
``It frustrates our members, we've got enough work to do without having to go catch people we've already got before the systems,'' he said.
He said when situations like this occurred, extra police were not put on.
``Is Ashley understaffed like everywhere else? That's the question that needs answering,'' he said.
``They have to re-look at the whole system as to whether Ashley is secure enough, whether there are other places they can put them and they have to look at whether they have to put them in in the first place with the youth justice courts.''
Australian Lawyers Alliance spokesman Greg Barns said the situation proved that Ashley did not work.
``It's a white elephant that is enormously expensive, it's a prep school for Risdon and it ought to be closed,'' Mr Barns said.
He said security did not need to be ramped up at the facility as it was already a ``hellish enough place'' with ``adequate'' security.
Western Tiers MLC Greg Hall, the former chairman of the select committee into Ashley and Youth Justice, said there had been a big reduction in escapes in recent years and closing the centre would cost too much.
Children's Minister Michelle O'Byrne said while there will always be a place for secure youth detention in Tasmania, the government was working on prevention and less on detention.
``Tasmania's youth justice system should not be a path that leads young people to detention, it should provide opportunities for rehabilitation,'' she said.