Youth Justice NSW’s objective

To create a form of enhanced support that addresses the complex needs and challenges of high-risk youth in custody to moderate recidivist behaviour.


Youth Justice NSW’s custodial population has decreased by 12% over the past six years, however the rates of incidents within these custodial centres have increased by 40% in the same period. 

Johnstaff had previously developed a service delivery model and system logic which identified a new, best-practice approach aimed at breaking the cycle of reoffending of young people. This work became a key element of the Youth Justice NSW Reform Program. 

Johnstaff’s role

Johnstaff’s Infrastructure Advisory team was engaged by Youth Justice NSW to develop an Infrastructure NSW compliant Strategic Business Case (SBC) to outline the case for capital investment in enhanced support for high-risk custodial youth. 

Addressing the issues

Johnstaff validated design and construction activities through all phases of the project. This involved significant compliance work and sign-off processes to ensure built works adhered to the contract.

Our role also involved management of time, quality and costs, as well as the certification of all requisite documents.

map of the project location


  • Despite the youth custodial population decreasing, incident rates within custodial centres are increasing – with a small cohort of high-risk/high-needs detainees responsible for a high number of custodial incidents

  • The SBC recommended capital investment of $25m for the development of ESUs, as well as identifying a series of supporting operational business improvements