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New Youth Justice practitioner support hotline – 1800 56 88 99

The Department of Youth Justice (DYJ) has established a temporary hotline to support legal representatives in navigating the interim measures in place at the quarantined Brisbane Youth Detention Centre (BYDC).

Ten people associated with the BYDC at Wacol have tested positive to COVID-19 – five BYDC staff and five relatives or close contacts of those staff – and DYJ is providing support to those staff members and their families.

DYJ says it is also concerned that it continues to support young people attending court and accessing legal services while the COVID-19 cluster is managed at the BYDC.

Accordingly, the new temporary Legal Practitioner Support Hotline (1800 56 88 99) can be used for any questions about the current processes relating to young people held in custody. The hotline is available between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday and between 7am and 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Child Safety After Hours Service Centre, (1800 177 135), which manages Queensland Police Service advice about arrests, and the Youth Legal Aid Hotline (1800 527 527) will not be affected by the temporary hotline and will continue their usual operations.

DYJ Senior Executive Director Strategy and Performance Dr Lisa Pollard said there had been extensive planning to respond to any COVID-19 cluster and DYJ was working closely with the State Disaster Co-ordination Group, Queensland Health and other agencies to curb the spread of COVID-19 and ensure everyone’s wellbeing. The young people at the BYDC had access to significant health support, including mental health support.

She said the BYDC was planning an unprecedented handover to an alternative replacement workforce in the detention centre, led by DYJ and made up of corrections, police and other government agency staff, to ensure the centre was able to continue to operate.

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