Longmore Training Centre (LTC) was established in Bentley in 1983 by the Department for Community Welfare as a maximum security facility for boys aged 13 to 16 years, with typical sentences of one to six months. In 1985, the admission age dropped to 12 years and in 1987 was raised to 14 years. In 1984 there were 182 admissions (119 individuals) and by 1991 there were 251 admissions (203 individuals). The Longmore Training Centre was transferred to the Ministry of Justice in 1993 and became part of the Longmore Detention Centre.
The Longmore Training Centre (LTC) started on 1 September 1983, in premises previously occupied by the Assessment Centre program of the Longmore Remand and Assessment Centre. It was established by the Department for Community Welfare in response to a study (the Treatment of Juvenile Offenders) conducted by Professor Eric Edwards, which had recommended that longer-term detainees should be separated from young people on remand or detained for assessment. Professor Edwards also recommended that 'Longmore develop a training facility to assist young people emerge from the juvenile justice system with improved skills' (Signposts 2004, p.300).
Like the Longmore Remand and Assessment Centre, the LTC bore the name of Mr James Longmore, who was Superintendent of Public Charities and Inspector of Charitable Institutions from 1898 and, later, Secretary of the State Children Department. James Longmore had had an enormous influence on the development of the child welfare system in Western Australia, particularly through his role in designing the State Children Act 1907.
The LTC was a maximum security youth detention centre for boys, with sentences typically from one to six months. A hostel, which could accommodate six boys, was located in the grounds of the LTC. This hostel was known as Longmore Hostel until March 1985 when its name changed to Collier House.
Although the official age for admission to the LTC was 13 to 16 years (dropping to 12 in 1985 and rising to 14 in 1987), in fact boys as young as 11 and as old as 17 were placed there. In 1986, it was reported that the LTC had a capacity for 40 boys and overcrowding led child welfare authorities to decide to send boys aged under 14 to the girls' detention centre, Nyandi, rather than detain them at the LTC. The relationship between these two detention centres strengthened in 1991 when Nyandi was brought under the administration of the LTC.
The LTC had workshops and classrooms and structured recreational activities. According to the Department for Community Welfare in its annual reports(Signposts 2004, pp.300-302), the LTC sought to provide a range of education, social and behavioural skills development opportunities for the boys held in detention at the centre.
The programs delivered to boys sent into detention at the LTC give an insight into the types of issues these young people were facing. Drug and alcohol programs commenced from at least 1985, and the education programs gradually moved away from a standard curriculum to programs based on the needs of the children detained at the centre, with an increasing emphasis on practical skills. There were five suicide attempts by young people at the Longmore Training Centre in the 1992-1993 year.
On 1 July 1993, the responsibility for the LTC was transferred from the Department for Community Development to the Ministry of Justice. After this, the facility was merged with the Longmore Remand and Assessment Centre to become the Longmore Detention Centre.
1983 - 1993 Longmore Training Centre
1993 - 1997 Longmore Detention Centre
1997 - Banksia Hill Detention Centre
Sources used to compile this entry: Information Services, Department for Community Development, 'pp.299-301, Table 22: Young People at Longmore, Certain Years between 1965-1991, Table 23: Young People at Longmore Training Centre, Certain Years between 1984-1991', Signposts: A Guide for Children and Young People in Care in WA from 1920, Government of Western Australia, 2004, https://signposts.communities.wa.gov.au//pdf/pdf.aspx; 'Report of an Announced Inspection of Banksia Juvenile Detention Centre : Report No.76, March 2012, p.16', Reports and Publications, Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services, Perth, Western Australia, 2001, http://www.oics.wa.gov.au/reports/; Western Australia. Department for Community Welfare, Annual Report: Department for Community Welfare, Dept. For Community Welfare, [Perth], 1973-1984, http://catalogue.slwa.wa.gov.au/record=b1410539~S7. Annual Report 1982-83, p.49.; Parliament of Western Australia, Hansard Archive 1870 to 1995: Assembly - Estimates Committee Supplementary Information, 26-28 October 1993, [p.1285].
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 16 March 2018