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Youth held in youth training or residential care centre

The officer who is in charge of a:

  • youth residential centre
  • remand centre, or
  • youth justice centre

may authorise the formal search of a person who is detained in the centre.

A screening search of a person means a search that is designed to detect unauthorised items such as drugs, weapons or metal articles. A formal search can be carried out by passing an electronic or mechanical device on or over the person's clothing. The person who is being searched may be required to remove their outer clothing for this search to be carried out.

The search may also be carried out with the assistance from a trained dog.

See s. 482A—defines a screening search—Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

When are searches carried out?

These formal searches will be conducted:

  • as soon as possible after a person arrives at the centre (or returns after being away)
  • at any time that the officer believes that the person may be in possession of:
    • any firearm or offensive weapon
    • an article that could be used as a weapon
    • drug or alcoholic liquid
    • money, or
    • matches, lighters, some unauthorised electronic equipment any other article that may be prohibited under the regulations.

Search of other personal items

If the officer believes it is necessary for the order or security of the centre or for safety of other persons at the centre, they can authorise for a search to be made of any item in a person's control. This can include a letter.

Conduct of search and treatment of seized items

The Act and the Children, Youth and Families Regulations 2007 (Vic) set out how searches must be carried out. The Regulations also prescribe the search records that need to be kept and whether items confiscated need to be destroyed or returned to child.

See Children, Youth and Families Regulations 2017 (Vic).

More information


Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic)

  • s. 3—defines search warrant
  • Part 5.8—persons in detention
  • s. 482A—defines 'officer in charge', 'youth justice facility', 'detainee' and the following searches: unclothed, frisk, screening
  • s. 488AC—unclothed search of a detainee
  • s. 488AD—how searches are to be carried out
  • s. 501—restricts certain goods from being brought into centres and sets out penalties

See Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Children, Youth and Families Regulations 2017 (Vic)

  • r. 32—regulations that prohibit lighters, matches and unauthorised electronic equipment being brought into a youth justice facility
  • r. 32A—sets out the way that unclothed searches have to be carried out
  • r. 32B—prescribed requirements for the seizure register
  • r.33—money is an item prohibited in the centre under s. 501(1)(b)
  • r.30—defines an approved dog as one that has completed an approved training program within the last 12 months

See Children, Youth and Families Regulations 2017 (Vic).

See Search of centre visitors