Live chat promo green

Closed environments

The rights of people in closed environments are protected by law

We all have a right to be protected when in care or detention and to be free from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. 

People living in detention – or care settings where their liberty is restricted – have limited control over their lives and choices and are more vulnerable to having their human rights abused or denied. 

In certain closed environments, we see systemic inequality in the overrepresentation of particular groups, for example Aboriginal children and young people in out-of-home-care and youth custody. People in closed environments may be unaware of their rights – by reason of the nature of the setting, their age, disability or background – or lack the support and resources needed to assert them. 

Some people in closed environments in Victoria experience breaches of their human rights. These breaches can have extremely damaging and lasting effects not only on individuals but also on their family and friends. For example, people in closed environments may experience: 

  • use of excessive force

  • inappropriate use of restraint 

  • denial of cultural rights

  • disrespect for privacy and dignity in daily activities 

  • separation from family

  • lack of access to news and connection with the community.

By way of example, in the 2017 decision of Certain Children [No 2],  the Supreme Court stated that detaining children in an adult maximum security prison had a ‘demoralising and dehumanising’ effect: 

Put simply, combined effects of the extensive use of isolation, the handcuffing, the requirement to take children through the adult prison to get outdoors, the physical high security prison environment, its lack of natural light and fresh air, the noise, the visible presence of prison officers, the lack of privacy, education, stimulation, time out of doors, confined outdoor space, in combination with the youth of the detainees, meant that their detention … has limited their Charter rights [at 424].

Sidebar complaints 2
Sidebar newsletter 2
Sidebar live chat 2