Youths at risk of radicalisation in the state’s juvenile justice system will be put on a national watchlist.
Youths at risk of radicalisation in the state’s juvenile justice system will be put on a national watchlist.

‘We need to stop these horrific acts’

YOUTHS at risk of radicalisation in the state's juvenile justice system will be monitored, put on a national watchlist and taken to diversion programs, under a $6 million counter-terrorism package announced by the State Government today.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there were now five youths detained under terror-related offences in the juvenile centres, up from zero in 2015.

A specialist Countering Violent Extremism unit will be set up in the justice system, to ensure already radicalised youths don't recruit new members.

Gladys Berejiklian said five youths are detained under terror-related offences. Picture: AAP Image/David Moir
Gladys Berejiklian said five youths are detained under terror-related offences. Picture: AAP Image/David Moir

Frontline staff will be trained in recognising signs of terrorism, intelligence gathering and troubled teens deemed to pose a terrorism risk will receive a "National Security Interest" designation.

"Once they are in these facilities, we want to make sure they don't radicalise other young people," Ms Berejiklian said.

"All of us in recent times have been shocked by the young age in which people are committing horrendous offences against innocent civilians in our community.

"We have seen in recent weeks and months teenagers commit horrific acts in society, we need to stop this.

"Once people are in these detention centres, juvenile or not, they need to be treated with the seriousness of their crimes."

The intervention program is similar to the model used for adult inmates. Picture: Guy Bailey
The intervention program is similar to the model used for adult inmates. Picture: Guy Bailey

"We have to act ... this is a growing problem, we need to do something about it."

Counter Terrorism Minister David Elliot said an intervention program - similar to the model used for adult inmates, to catch detainees at risk of radicalisation and will include case management addressing disengagement and isolate.

The juveniles who are already radicalised will face increased screening, restrictions on visitors, mail and telephone calls.

"They are getting radicalised very swiftly ... and they have been encouraged to have a perverse interpretation of their faith," Mr Elliot said.

"It's a harsh reality of the times in which we live that juveniles are ending up in our detention centres for terrorism related offences.

Frontline staff will be trained in recognising signs of terrorism.
Frontline staff will be trained in recognising signs of terrorism.

"It will be backed up by rules about what individuals these young people can visit, what access they can have to information and other measures.

Asked if the government would consider applying to keep youths identified as extremist within the justice system, as is the case for adult extremists, Mr Elliot said:

"We are at the moment are about everything. This is a brave new world. In three years we have gone from zero to five."

Mr Elliot said deradicalisation programs do not work en masse, but "we need to be prepared for all contingencies - as a government we are morally committed to ensuring the community is safe.":

Ms Berejiklian said it was "very important for us to isolate those young people who we know have demonstrated links to terrorism to prevent them from radicalizing other people in those detention centres."



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