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Bimberi the new name in youth incarceration

johnboy 3 September 2008 43

Frequently Canberrans ask “What do you have to do to get locked up in this town?”.

The 40 kids who have successfully answered this question will be thrilled that Mr Stanhope has announced the opening of a new home for them in Mitchell at the “Bimberi Youth Justice Centre“. (‘Cos Bimberi’s the highest peak in the Territory geddit?)

You can even check out a plan of the centre.

Our Brave Leader has high hopes for the facility:

    “The $42.5m purpose-built Centre is designed in the style of a secondary school campus and can accommodate up to 40 young people.

    “The opening of Bimberi is a milestone in youth justice for the ACT – and in Australia,” Mr Stanhope said. “It is the first Centre of its type to be designed, built and operated under Human Rights legislation.”

This is the replacement for Quamby.


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43 Responses to Bimberi the new name in youth incarceration
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peterh peterh 4:17 pm 11 Sep 08

saw an article in the chronicle today, first chance to read it, looks like quamby will be demolished. Red hill residents WILL be pleased….

Special G Special G 7:50 pm 05 Sep 08

Looks pretty good Gungahlin Al – plenty better than I’ve stayed in whilst in the Army and yes there are fences/curfews and the like there as well. Bring on the Defence Correctional Facility style of prison – least percentage of recidivist offenders anywhere.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 6:33 pm 05 Sep 08

If you are thinking that Bimberi might be a neat place to go spend a while, have a look at the photos I took around the centre during the opening.

It’s not Port Arthur, but it ain’t a holiday camp either – especially the “Safe Room”…

peterh peterh 12:32 pm 05 Sep 08

Granny said :

I don’t reckon anyone knows more about Quamby than peterh ….

*heh heh heh*

oh, i don’t know, i never “went in” to quamby, just had a few mates that knew how to “get out” and visit us at school…

Mr_Shab Mr_Shab 10:11 am 05 Sep 08

It’s very tempting to assume that “all them little buggers need is a good flogging”. Of course all the research I’ve seem into the recidivism rates of those subjected to Bimberi-style incarceration vs. “Tough Love” seems to suggest that merely brutalising them doesn’t work very well.

Fact is that you can try any style of inprisonment you want; but most offenders will reoffend. You can only hope to turn around the ones that can be turned around. For that, I’d argue that the Bimberi approach is the “least worst” solution.

BTW – they could be offering 5-star rooms with hot and cold running plasma TV’s, but you’re still deprived of any liberty. Deprivation of liberty IS the punishment meted out to prisoners. Any brutality meted out by the system an border on torture, IMHO.

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 9:57 am 05 Sep 08

I second Vandams last comment. How about locking them up and depriving them of things rather than giving them more. No TV, no radio…hell why not no heating and possibly no sunlight.

Perhaps then they’ll learn not to re-offend, rather than the knowledge of if they re-offend they get to go back to that great gaff with all the mod-cons. Pun intended there too 😉

vandam vandam 11:05 pm 04 Sep 08

‘Human rights’ Honestly where does it end? Sure there needs to be human rights, but my god, sometimes rights go a bit to far.

Does a 16 year old criminal, old enough and mature enough to steal a car, run from Police, Hit a innocent girl in a bus interchange, dump the car knowing he hit someone, then do a runner, deserve to be luxuring it up with Plasma TV’s, Gyms, pools etc etc.

If only they had this when I was a kid. I’d be doing as much crime as possible. Its a hole lot more than I had when I was a kid, and I never played up.

F*** their rights, they gave those up when they decided to steal/assault/kill someone innocent.

teepee teepee 9:52 pm 04 Sep 08

Out of interest … and Ive got an open mind here … can anyone point to a prison or detention centre based on a “Human Rights” model that has brought down crime and reoffending patterns? It would be interesting to see where the evidence is.

I suppose you could argue that Port Arthur and other colonial prisons had a strong redemptive focus. But this involved locking prisoners into place in church and subjecting them to regular sermons. I’m not sure that the politically correct authorities would view this as ‘human rights compliant’ these days?

fabforty fabforty 7:41 pm 04 Sep 08

When did $42 million suddenly become $140 million ?

Special G Special G 8:58 am 04 Sep 08

They should open up a feline zoo around the detention centre.

This would do a couple of things:
1 – great deterant to scaling the fence
2 – form of income
3 – remind these little turds they are not the top of the food chain as they look after them.
4 – further captive breeding programs.

Wait and see if it works I guess

johnboy johnboy 8:54 am 04 Sep 08

tom-tom said :

This is riotact; whinging about things we dont understand is all we do here.

It’s good you’ve finally come clean about your own involvement. But don’t speak for the rest of us.

Granny Granny 12:35 am 04 Sep 08

I don’t reckon anyone knows more about Quamby than peterh ….

*heh heh heh*

Bungle Bungle 11:39 pm 03 Sep 08

Do you reckon they can put a drag strip and a burn out pan in there?

tom-tom tom-tom 11:17 pm 03 Sep 08

tickboom said :

peterh, is it possible, just possible, that those involved in this know more about the need to replace Quamby than you do? Even if you do feel the need to post 7 out of 18 responses to this thread, that doesn’t make you an expert.

This is riotact; whinging about things we dont understand is all we do here.

New Yeah New Yeah 11:08 pm 03 Sep 08

SheepGroper said :

FC said :

They’re not children, they’re youths which implies teens and older. Hopefully the vermin that attempted to break my fence to get at my sheep once will be incarcerated there, but I doubt it.

Given the rural nature of this new puberto-slammer they could probably provide a few sheep for the lust-filled delinquents and let the sheep farmers of the ACT (and region) sleep peacefully knowing that their flocks are safe, baa any roaming packs of wild dogs.

simbo simbo 11:02 pm 03 Sep 08

Oh, and by the way I would assume (based on it not appearing in any official material) that the “swimming pool” comment was hyperbole. Or in other words – not actually happening. Yes, you’ve been fooled in order to summon up your rage and indignation! Be angry at the twit who thought that was a good idea!

simbo simbo 10:57 pm 03 Sep 08

Dude – it’s a secure facility. Securing a place costs a bucketload. In fact, most of that $140 million. Oddly enough, very little of that is going into making a palatial mansion for our crims.

If you spent much less than that and applied the funds, then you’d have a facility that was much easier to escape. Which means more of the little darlings running around the streets. Freedom may not be free, but depriving people of their freedom also costs rather a large amount. To misquote from a TV show “you want imprisonment? Well, imprisonment costs, and right here is where we start payin!”

Their punishment is the deprivation of liberty – of the choice on how they’re going to live their own lives for the term of their sentance. And nothing else. Unless you really want to start lugging in capital punishments (and … please, let’s not open that kettle of fish), that’s pretty much all we’ve got.

astrosapien astrosapien 9:39 pm 03 Sep 08

fabforty said :

Once upon a time the ACT Government brought in new legislation about Human Rights. This encompassed all “humans” including those in custody. It was then realised that neither the Belconnen Remand Centre or Quamby could possibly fulfil the requirements of this legislation and something had to be done.

Rather than throw good money after bad in fixing up the old decaying institutions, the decision was made to build a new jail and a new youth detention centre.

I can’t comment about the jail as I don’t know enough about it. I do have some knowledge of Bimberi though.

The idea behind Bimberi is to try to teach young offenders some skills (other than stealing cars and burglary) with which they can hope to gain meaningful employment. They will also learn life skills such as nutrition and basic literacy and numeracy, which many don’t have. They will receive drug and alcohol counselling. They will be able to play sports (some for the first time) the same as other young people.

It is easy to wish ill for young offenders especially those who steal cars, break into houses and assault people. But our choice as a society is between trying to “retrain” these young people into thinking, skilled and healthy individuals who may see the light and make something of their lives, or, as some would have, treat them like animals when they are incarcerated and somehow expect them to be better when they are let out.

Some of them are children. They might not be nice, they may little b*stads, but if we are so ignorant and bitter that we can’t give a 13 year old a second chance then our society deserves what it gets.

I understand what you’re getting at, but it has just seemed, lately, that too often all this touchy-feely do-gooding under the guise of “Human Rights” and “rehabilitation” comes at the expense of the people doing wrong ever being punished too.

Rehabilitate them… Give them skills… But let’s not forget to make sure that they get it into their thick heads that there are consequences involved for the people they hurt and for themselves…

I think it would be interesting to see what the costs would’ve been for a refurb of Quamby rather than a brand new, state of the art facility with swimming pool (something that the hard working, law abiding, tax paying citizens of Gungahlin don’t even have yet). Could they have spent less by refurbing an already existing site and perhaps kept a school open…? Or maybe not shag the Gungahlin Drive Extension…

What’s that? You poor young kids have beaten people, stolen property, vandalised people’s homes? Here’s $140 million… What about the Light Rail proposal you ask? Don’t worry about that… We’re relying on the Federal government to pay for that ol’ chestnut!!

What a joke…

Mælinar - *spoiler alert* I've seen S04E13 Mælinar - *spoiler alert* I've seen S04E13 9:23 pm 03 Sep 08

I believe the sign says bimberi – there is no B.

Katy ‘I’m not responsible for this’ Gallagher quite nicely described the concept of school in her media interview tonight on this subject, as have some other previous posters. If the aim of bimberi is to teach people, it should be more appropriately labelled bimberi polytechnic or suchlike.

I’m not entirely convinced if this is the most appropriate way of spending my tax dollar.

@fabforty – while your lecture on human rights is on the surface level quite quaint, most occupants of the abovementioned facility are there because of their own lack of respect for them.

boomacat boomacat 8:42 pm 03 Sep 08

I agree – if you can’t put special effort in to try to turn around kids who have started off in the wrong direction in life, before they get stuck in a permanent pattern, well why bother talking about rehabilitation at all?

I also understand that one of the priorities of the new prison, youth detention centre etc was making facilities safer and more tolerable for staff. Apparently the Belco and Symo remand centres were pretty hideous places to work (even relative to other slammers). But I am open to being corrected by those more informed.

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