New youth detention centre to be built at Woodford

Published Thursday, 11 May, 2023 at 09:52 AM

Minister for Children and Youth Justice and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
The Honourable Leanne Linard

  • A new youth detention centre will be built at the Woodford Correctional Precinct, adjacent to the existing adult correctional centre.
  • Work is now underway to finalise the design of the new centre.
  • A second youth detention centre is to be built near Cairns. Site selection for this centre is ongoing.

The first of two new youth detention centres for Queensland will be built at the Woodford Correctional Precinct north west of Brisbane.

With site selection for the centre now complete, the project team’s focus has shifted to finalising the detailed design for the new centre.

The Palaszczuk Government has also committed to building a new youth detention centre near Cairns. Work to identify a suitable site for this centre is ongoing.

Queensland needs more youth detention centre infrastructure as its population continues to grow, existing infrastructure ages and tough new laws introduced by the Palaszczuk Government to target young offenders take effect.

New youth detention centres in Woodford and Cairns support the government’s goal to provide more regional youth detention services, facilitating connection to family, community, country and support services during detention and when transitioning back into community.

Both new centres will include therapeutic design elements which aim to support rehabilitation for young people and improve community safety. These elements include smaller, more home-like accommodation units purpose-built to encourage young people, staff and stakeholders to work together; consultation and treatment rooms; multipurpose spaces for education, skills development and training; and spaces for cultural connection.

The two new centres are part of the Palaszczuk Government’s comprehensive response to youth crime in Queensland. The government has implemented tougher penalties for serious repeat offenders and is investing an additional $100 million in programs proven to break the destructive cycle of youth crime

Quotes attributable to Leanne Linard, Minister for Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs

“The Palaszczuk Government is listening to the community and implementing a comprehensive package of measures aimed at addressing youth crime in our community.

“Included in this package is the construction of two new youth detention centres.

“A comprehensive site search has been undertaken and we have locked in the Woodford site and an appropriate site will be identified near Cairns shortly.

“The Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs continues to work with central government agencies to identify suitable interim detention options that can be brought online quickly should it be needed.

“Therapeutic approaches to youth detention have been in operation across many jurisdictions, with evidence showing positive outcomes for young people including reduced recidivism and higher rates of successful reintegration into communities.”

Further information:

Queensland currently has three youth detention centres – the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre and West Moreton Youth Detention Centre, both located in Wacol west of Brisbane, and Cleveland Youth Detention Centre in Townsville.


Media contact: Scott Chandler - (07) 3719 7339