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Human Rights lawyers to fight plans to put young offenders in a ‘supermax’ jail

Human Rights lawyers are expected to fight plans by the Andrews Government to put young offenders in a ‘supermax’ youth jail.

The government held crisis meetings on Thursday after 15 juvenile offenders escaped the Malmsbury youth justice centre during a mass riot and went on a crime spree.

The government is now planning to build a new super-maximum security youth jail and put adult corrections staff in charge of the youth facilities.

But Greg Barns from the Australia Lawyers Alliance told Neil Mitchell he hopes the proposal is challenged in court.

Mr Barns said similar jails have been tried elsewhere and they don’t work.

‘All the evidence points to juvenile offenders in adult prisons have greater risk of suicide, poor mental health, and much higher recidivism rates,’ he said.

‘If you put young people in adult prison environments, their recidivism rates go through the roof.

‘It’s bad policy. It has a deleterious effect on community safety.

‘It’s populist and short-term.’

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