Through this Members Statement, I wish to raise my concerns about a recent incident, and the fallout from that incident, at the Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre in my electorate.
On 1 July, the Herald Sun reported that a detainee had received no further time in incarceration for a vicious attack on a youth justice worker at the Centre. That attack was so heinous that it involved the pouring of a mix of boiling water and chemical additives on the worker, leaving them permanently disfigured.
Reportedly, this was also the latest in a series of around 30 serious assaults committed against staff and other inmates by this same offender.
To me, all of this elicits a number of important questions.
The most obvious of these is simply how there was, in effect, no meaningful punishment for this sickening violence.
The second is what the implications are for the Government’s minimum sentencing laws for attacks on staff at Youth Justice Centres and other emergency workers. When this type of outcome is reached, it leads to concerns that that legislation might need refinement yet again – including to ensure that new sentences can not be served concurrently with existing sentences.
I also note that an individual quoted in the article says that “someone is going to be killed” at Malmsbury. In that context, these events also raise the question of who is now responsible, under the Government’s new industrial manslaughter legislation, for preventing serious injury and death at a Youth Justice Centre – and who, specifically, is legally liable in such circumstances.