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Human rights lawyers launch fresh legal bid for young offenders in Barwon


Human rights lawyers say the maximum security Barwon Prison is ‘manifestly unsafe’ for children and have launched fresh legal action against the government’s detention of young offenders.

About 20 young offenders are behind bars at Barwon.

The Supreme Court last year ruled the detention of juveniles in Barwon was illegal due to an administrative bungle, which was subsequently rectified by the government.

Hugh de Kretser from the Human Rights Law Centre says the latest legal challenge will argue Barwon is unsafe.

‘If we care about community safety, we need to make sure kids are put on a path to get them on the right path.

‘Barwon does the absolute opposite of that, it denies people the chance of a proper rehabilitation.’

He said ongoing solitary confinement of children, the use of OC spray and denying the right to an education were unacceptable.

Tom Elliott gets the latest from 3AW state politics reporter Lauren Hilbert: