20.26 National Quality of Care Standards (QOC Standards) and Design Guidelines for Juvenile Justice Facilities in Australia and New Zealand (Design Guidelines) were developed for the juvenile detention system under the auspices of the Australasian Juvenile Justice Administrators (AJJA) forum and endorsed by all States and Territories in 1996. A second set of QOC Standards is being developed and is currently in draft form. They apply exclusively to juvenile detention centres. The endorsed and draft national QOC Standards are particularly relevant for this Inquiry in that they provide guidelines for programs, services and legal processes provided in detention. While reference will be made to the Design Guidelines, the main focus will be on the QOC Standards.
Development of the Standards and Guidelines
20.27 The Design Guidelines and QOC Standards were developed with reference to several international instruments, including CROC, and the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody report. A broad consultation process also informed their development. The Design Guidelines were based on the results of a questionnaire and workshop held in 1995, involving representatives of all States and Territories of Australia and New Zealand. The QOC Standards were developed by reference to literature reviews, professional comment from social workers, psychologists and youth workers and consultations with young people in detention. However, there was no consultation with non-government organisations.
Implementation of Design Guidelines and QOC Standards
20.28 The endorsed QOC Standards cover issues relating to alcohol and other drug services, recreation, education, employment and training programs and health services. The draft QOC Standards cover complaints mechanisms, case management programs, visits and correspondence, offender programs, behaviour management and living environment and emphasise the young person’s right to natural justice mechanisms. The Design Guidelines encompass a very broad range of issues relating to the layout and environment of juvenile detention centres.
20.29 Generally speaking, the standards and guidelines provide comprehensive provisions to ensure quality treatment and protect the rights of children in detention. However, they do not deal with some important issues, such as regulation of discretion for dealing with criminal offences committed by children in detention, the provision of inspections and Official Visitor’s schemes, separation of children from adults and the transfer of children to adult prisons. Although the QOC Standards cannot be expected to cover every issue in relation to detention centres, these issues are sufficiently important to be included in the QOC Standards. To this end, the Inquiry considers that a consultation and review process should be undertaken to refine the standards. This process should be undertaken by AJJA in consultation with OFC and focus particularly on bodies not consulted in relation to the QOC Standards, such as community organisations dealing with children. The completed QOC Standards would then form a part of the national standards for juvenile justice. The Inquiry envisages that the national standards for juvenile justice would set the framework, require best practice and establish benchmarks for implementation by each jurisdiction as appropriate.
20.30 A number of jurisdictions have incorporated the Design Guidelines and QOC Standards in their detention procedures manuals or policy documents. Some have explicitly referred to them, while others appear to have reflected the underlying principles in their manuals. The Inquiry acknowledges the positive initiatives of some State and Territory Governments in recent years to create a more humane and rehabilitative environment for young people in detention. However, the lack of a national body to monitor implementation of these standards has meant that their implementation has been ad hoc. As a result, treatment of children in detention continues to vary between jurisdictions and over time in accordance with the political priorities and the electoral concerns of governments. Moreover, in many areas, there are serious questions as to whether the treatment of juveniles in detention meets the standards set out in the relevant international treaties and guidelines to which Australia subscribes. Submissions to this Inquiry and many earlier studies and inquiries, including the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the NSW Ombudsman’s Inquiry into Juvenile Detention Centres, suggest that it does not. There is clearly a need for national monitoring of standards in detention centres. A number of submissions to the Inquiry stressed the importance of the Commonwealth’s role in bringing a national focus to detention and the need for implementation of these standards to be monitored. Once the Design Guidelines and QOC Standards are completed and become part of the national standards for juvenile justice, their implementation should be nationally monitored by OFC.
Informing the community and children
20.31 There appears to be very little awareness of the QOC Standards in the community. They are not referred to in the literature on juvenile justice and only four submissions to the Inquiry, all of which were from government departments, mentioned them. There is a clear need for more information, consultation and education about the QOC Standards.
20.32 The completed QOC Standards should be distributed to all involved in juvenile justice, including community organisations, legal practitioners and youth workers dealing with children. A version of the standards appropriate for children should also be distributed to every child in detention on admission or as soon as possible after that. Draft QOC Standards provide that each juvenile detention centre should make a statement of rights and responsibilities available for every child in detention. This is also provided in some jurisdictions. The Inquiry endorses this. We also recognise that any statement needs to be supplemented in a form more accessible to children.
20.33 A brief, ‘plain English’ version of the Issues Paper was prepared specifically for children as part of this Inquiry. The NSW Department of Juvenile Justice has recently commissioned the production of a series of Streetwize comics for children in detention to present their rights and responsibilities in an easily understood form. The Inquiry recommends that States and Territories use similar methods to inform children of their rights and responsibilities in detention.
Recommendation 256 The Design Guidelines and QOC Standards (both endorsed and draft sets) should be reviewed by AJJA, in consultation with OFC, to ensure that they accord with principles in CROC, the Beijing Rules, the UN Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty and other relevant international treaties and guidelines. Community organisations dealing with children’s issues should be consulted about the standards as part of this review.
Implementation. Once the review is completed, the Design Guidelines and QOC Standards should form part of the national standards for juvenile justice as set out in Recommendation 192. Compliance with the standards should be monitored by OFC in accordance with Recommendation 193.
Recommendation 257 The national standards for juvenile justice should be disseminated to officers dealing with children in detention, key community organisations dealing with children and all other relevant individuals and agencies. Information in appropriate forms summarising rights and responsibilities provided by the standards should be given to every child upon admission to detention.
Implementation. The relevant department in each State and Territory should be given responsibility for disseminating the standards.
 QOC Standards SA Dept of Family and Community Services Adelaide May 1996, 2; Design Guidelines for Juvenile Justice Facilities in Australia and New Zealand Vic Dept of Health and Community Services Melbourne May 1996, 9–10.
 The QOC Standards and Design Guidelines were also developed with reference to the UN Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty and the Beijing Rules. In addition, the QOC standards were developed with reference to the Riyadh Guidelines and the Design Guidelines with reference to UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and Related Recommendations.
 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody National Report AGPS Canberra 1991. SeeQOC Standards SA Dept of Family and Community Services Adelaide May 1996, 2; Design Guidelines Vic Dept of Health and Community Services Melbourne May 1996, 9–10.
 See Design Guidelines Vic Dept of Health and Community Services Melbourne May 1996, 9–10; QOC Standards SA Dept of Family and Community Services May 1996, 2.
 These matters are discussed in detail later in this chapter.
 See para 18.10, recs 192, 193.
 eg the Design Guidelines and both the endorsed and draft QOC Standards have been explicitly referred to in Ashley Detention Procedure Manual (draft) Tas Dept of Community and Health Services Hobart 1997; Quamby Youth Detention Centre Policy and Procedure Manual ACT Youth Justice Services Canberra 1997; The Integrated Approach: The Philosophy and Directions of Juvenile Detention Qld Corrective Services Commission Brisbane 1997. Other jurisdictions appear to reflect the underlying philosophy of the standards without making explicit reference to them, eg, Detention Procedures Manual (draft) NT Correctional Services Darwin 1997. Other jurisdictions are in the process of re-drafting their manuals.
 See paras 20.143–151.
 eg Townsville Community Legal Service IP Submission 181; Australian Association of Social Workers IP Submission 207; Church Network for Youth Justice IP Submission 212.
 eg Church Network for Youth Justice IP Submission 212; NSW Government DRP Submission 86. See also M Maneschi ‘Juvenile “Justice” Centres — False Labelling?’ Paper Children and the Law —Where’s the Justice? Conference Sydney 28 April 1997, 3.
 SA Dept of Family and Community Services IP Submission 181; WA Ministry for Justice IP Submission 184; Vic Government IP Submission 213; NT Government DRP Submission 40.
 eg Juvenile Justice Regulation 1993 (Qld) reg 11.
 Similar recommendations were made in Youth Justice Coalition Kids in Justice: A Blueprint for the 90s Youth Justice Coalition Sydney recs 13, 61.
 IP 17.
 eg one of the comics, Doing Time, informs children in detention of complaints procedures and lists contact numbers for the legal aid commission, ombudsman and other bodies: R Jones Doing Time Streetwize Comics Sydney 1997.