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Stand-off at Youth Justice Centre could result in more time for inmates

Neil Mitchell has described a stand-off at the Melbourne Youth Justice Centre at Parkville as a kindergarten version of the riots at the Metropolitan Remand Centre last July.

On Monday afternoon six teenagers, armed with metal poles, spent nearly five hours on the roof of the centre where they went on a destructive spree, smashing windows and skylights. They also  tore apart a chimney and air conditioning units. The stand off ended between police and inmates ended at around 9.15pm after the youths climbed down voluntarily.

Ian Lanyon, Director of Secure Services at the Department of Health and Human Services (the department overseeing the centre) said the inmates, aged between fifteen and seventeen, would likely be charged.

‘Obviously we’re extremely disappointed about the level of damage that was done,’ he told Neil Mitchell. ‘But at the end of the day, no injuries to staff which is terrific.’

Mr Lanyon said the inmates are referred to as ‘clients’ by the staff. He shied away from using the word ‘gangs’ when describing the culture within the centre, preferring to use the term ‘community relationships.’

A full investigation into the stand off will be undertaken by Victoria Police.

Listen in full as Neil Mitchell speaks to Ian Lanyon


It was the second day of mayhem at the centre, which was locked down on Sunday after hammers, pitchforks and metal bars were stolen from a horticulture shed.

The centre said Monday’s incident was unrelated.

Full statement from the Department of Health and Human Services

An incident occurred at the Melbourne Youth Justice Centre on Sunday.

Several young people entered the horticultural area and caused a disturbance.

One client sustained minor injuries, not requiring medical intervention.

Two staff received minor injuries, which were not caused by any of the young people.

All tools were accounted for the incident was resolved by youth justice staff.

Victoria Police were not required to respond.

None of the youths involved in this incident are involved in today’s issue.