A security system used to protect Britain's highly-sensitive submarine bases will be incorporated in the new $12.7 million Rangeview Juvenile Remand Centre in Murdoch.
A British expert is working with the Building Management Authority to install the in-ground movement detection system, which is part of the centre's $2.3 million security features.
Youth Justice Minister Eric Ripper today toured the more than four hectares of Rangeview, which will be the first security institution in Australia to use the British technology.
For obvious security reasons, precise details of the location and function of the imported technology must remain confidential, but it was part of a complex system which involved:
· closed-circuit television monitoring;
· 3.6 metre high fences with anti-climb cowling;
· electronic sensors to detect any interference with fences;
· a roadway between the 800 metres of fencing, to enable a quick response to any escape bid.
Other special features of Rangeview included:
· a non-contact visiting room for high-risk remandees.
· special maximum security cells for difficult or drug-affected remandees.
"This unique state-of-the-art facility will mark a new era in this State for juvenile remand facilities, based on an environment designed for the most effective management and care of remandees," Mr Ripper said.
"It will strike a more effective balance between the mental health of detainees and their effective containment to protect the community.
"Rangeview will replace the archaic Longmore Remand Centre which is over-crowded, outdated and no longer suitable."
The Minister said the design of Rangeview, which will accommodate a maximum of 48 young people yet to be processed by the courts, incorporated recommendations of the Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Royal Commission.
"Use of a highly-secure fencing system, instead of walls, allows detainees to see the horizon, which is culturally-important for Aboriginal people. All 36 cells in the complex have outward-looking windows," he said.
Six special cells for high-risk remandees incorporate large windows of unbreakable glass to maintain constant visual surveillance.
The Minister said children still going through the legal process would spend from just two days to up to five months in the centre, pending court hearings. The average length of stay in Rangeview would be four or five days.
"About 2,000 young people are remanded into custody in each year, of which only 15 per cent receive a detention sentence from the Courts," Mr Ripper said.
"Rangeview will be a holding complex for young people who have been charged, but not yet dealt with by the courts."
The complex includes a small hospital, a school, a shop and recreational facilities such as a swimming pool, oval plus basketball and volley ball courts.
"These recreational facilities represent privileges which must be earnt by the remandees by their good behaviour. Remandees will always be under escort, except when locked in their cells," the Minister said.
Mr Ripper said Rangeview was on budget and on schedule to be completed by May next year, to begin operations by next July.