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Tightening controls on terror detainees 

Published date: Tuesday 16 October 

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Juvenile detainees considered a threat to national security will be subject to tighter controls inside centres, including additional restrictions on mail, phone calls and visitors. 

Minister for Corrections and Minister for Counter Terrorism David Elliott announced the National Security Interest (NSI) designation, created for the adult correctional system in 2015, could now also apply to juveniles. 

It will apply to detainees convicted of a terrorism offence and a small number of detainees not convicted with a terrorism offence but which pose a risk due to an association with a terrorist group or advocate support for violent extremism. 

The designation will improve control and monitoring of communications with people who are outside Juvenile Justice centres. It includes mandatory inspection of mail, further monitoring of telephone calls, increased transport security, and criminal record checks for visitors. 

Mr Elliott said the new regulations provide for greater security to manage potential risks and remains with the detainee for their entire stay in custody. 

“The NSW Liberals & Nationals have delivered the most comprehensive counter terrorism initiatives in the nation to ensure community safety is paramount,” Mr Elliott said. 

“Juvenile Justice manages several young detainees who are convicted of terrorism related offences. It is essential we have adequate safeguards in place to ensure they are managed effectively and safely.” 

Juvenile Justice Countering Violent Extremism Team Director Peta Lowe said all detainees under the new designation had demonstrated attitudes, beliefs or behaviours in support of violent extremism before entering custody. 

The NSI designation is supported by Juvenile Justice dedicated CVE unit, additional training for youth officers to identify detainees exhibiting extremist behaviour and protective tactics. Furthermore, upgrades to CCTV systems across all six centres will assist with gathering intelligence.