Hansard of the Legislative Council

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Ashley Youth Detention Centre - Inmate Numbers and Costs




[2.41 p.m.]

I am pleased to have received a quick response to this series of questions.  I was not sure whether to put it on notice because of the detail contained within these questions.


(1)  What are the current staff numbers compared to the number of inmates at the Ashley Youth Detention Centre?


(2)  What is the average number of inmates since the beginning of this year?


(3)  What did running the Ashley Youth Detention Centre cost Tasmanian taxpayers in the last financial year?


(4)  Can the Government provide an indication of the recidivism rate for Ashley inmates compared to a similar facility in Victoria?


(5)  When the number of inmates at Ashley is very low, what education programs are provided?




Mr President, I thank the member for Rosevears for his question.


(1)  The most recent pay period report available (pay period 17 - ending 14 February 2015) showed 79 FTE paid at Ashley Youth Detention Centre.  On that day nine young people were recorded as resident at Ashley Youth Detention Centre.


(2)  The average number of young people at Ashley for the 2014-15 financial year is 10.27 year to date (as of 15 March 2015).


(3)  Actual expenditure for 2013-14 was $10 415 169.00.


(4)  There is no specifically comparable data on recidivism rates for young people released from Ashley.


(5)  All students have access to full-time equivalent education, regardless of student numbers.  Staff numbers remain the same no matter the number of students (which have been relatively stable over the last year or so).


Learning programs on offer include -


Australian curriculum subjects taught by Department of Education teachers such as English - as sub-strands from foundation to year 10; Mathematics - all sub-strands from year 1 to year 10; Health and Physical Education - sub-strands 1 to 3 (foundation to year 8); Design and Technologies, Wood and Metal - strands 1 and 2 (foundation to year 8); Engineering Principles - strand 1 (foundation to year eight); Civics and Citizenship - all strands (years 3 to 6).


Individualised programs, where students can undertake theoretical and practical work experience either on-site or off-site.  School staff regularly visit students in the workplace. 


Senior secondary TCE subjects auspiced by Don and Newstead College.  These require Tasmanian Qualifications Authority authorisation to conduct exams on-site.  During 2013-14 one student was on day release to attend a senior secondary school in Launceston.


Online learning:  specific worksite training cards, i.e. Responsible Service of Alcohol, working at heights, responsible gambling and learner driver licence.


In 2013-14 financial year, several units of competency were offered in TasTAFE Building and Construction Certificate I and II, General Construction Induction Training Card, Automotive and Metalwork.  Learning Programs funded by DHHS on-site in 2013-14 included 0.8 FTE Relaxation Therapy and Art, TasTAFE Hospitality one day per week, and a music program with community volunteers.