Dynamic security and behavioural supports in a custodial setting

Stephen  Green1, Matt Smith1, Ms Sarah Strathearn1

1South Australia Department Of Human Services, , Australia

In South Australia, the Department for Human Services (DHS) – Youth Justice Division has recently implemented a revised Behaviour Support Framework (BSF) at the Adelaide Youth Training Centre (AYTC).  The BSF guides the way in which staff and a range of multi-disciplinary professionals at the AYTC interact with young people in custody.

Providing a pro-social incentive model, the framework has defined a best practice approach in providing positive behaviour supports for this vulnerable cohort. Supports are designed to incentivise and reinforce positive behaviour in a safe and consistent environment where staff across multiple disciplines role model and collaborate. Through the BSF, young people in custody are given opportunities to develop skills and behaviours to assist them and help prepare for their transition back into the community, and ultimately contribute to reducing the likelihood of recidivist behaviours.

Part of the success of the BSF can be attributed to the extensive consultation with the young people and a range of stakeholder’s which fostered maximum engagement in the design and implementation. The introduction of the Youth Justice Administration Act 2016 in South Australia drives best practice standards in Youth Justice administration to improve rehabilitation outcomes for young people and reduce re-offending.  The BSF was developed in alignment with this legislation, research into national and international best practice in youth justice systems and the United Nations Rights of the Child.


Stephen Green’s career commenced in the mid 90’s with Her Majesties Prison Service UK where he held a number of senior roles in London prisons. It was here he developed an passion for human services delivery in a custody environment. He emigrated to Australia in 2004 where he initially spent six years working with Youth Justice in South Australia. Stephen then moved to SA Correctional Services managing the state’s high security division and overseeing a cultural change in service delivery.

In 2012 he returned to Youth Justice to assist in the commissioning of the new Adelaide Youth Training Centre. Stephen has been instrumental in leading a cultural shift within youth custody and operational implementation of the new Behavioural Support Framework focusing on dynamic risk assessment. Stephen has a passion for dealing with youth in custody, a particular interest in the prevention of suicide, non-suicidal self-injury. He is dedicated to ensuring his staff are well trained and ensures they focus on promoting dynamic security which keeps young people supported, safe and helps them stay connected whilst in custody.