Construction starts on youth detention facility at Woodford

Construction starts on youth detention facility at Woodford
Artist impression

The Queensland government has initiated the construction of a new 80-bed youth detention centre in Woodford, part of a broader initiative to enhance community safety through prevention, intervention, and detention strategies.

This facility, one of three being developed, represents a significant investment in infrastructure designed to address youth justice challenges in the region. BESIX Watpac (QLD) Pty Ltd has been contracted for the initial phase, with the project's completion anticipated by 2026. The construction is expected to generate numerous jobs, both during the build and in the long term within the Woodford community.

Announced in May 2023 as the chosen site within the Woodford Correctional Precinct, the centre is projected to cost up to $627.61 million. Its design incorporates therapeutic elements to aid in the rehabilitation of young offenders and enhance community safety. Features include home-like units, spaces for education and skills training, areas for physical and cultural activities, and the integration of First Nations knowledge and culture, advised by the Jinibara People Aboriginal Corporation.

Additionally, the government is advancing the construction of a 40-bed facility near Cairns and a youth remand facility at Wacol, aiming to significantly increase the state's youth detention capacity. By 2026, with the new Woodford centre and the upcoming Cairns facility, operational by 2027, Queensland will nearly double its youth detention beds since the government's tenure began in 2015.

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