The chairman of a review into welfare policies and services in the ACT blasted them as very poor on this day in 1984.
Tony Vinson said conditions at the now closed Quamby Children's Remand Shelter were a "national disgrace", with children as young as eight sometimes held in rooms with no windows, running water, or soft furnishings.
"Helen Maguire, of the [Department of Territories and Local Government's] welfare branch, said there were grave problems in the ACT in trying to help emotionally disturbed young children," a story on the front page of The Canberra Times said.
"There were no facilities in the ACT, so they had to be sent to NSW.
"There were 'even graver problems' with adolescents because institutions in NSW usually discharged them after 10 weeks, regardless of the length of their sentences."
The young people were then sent back to Canberra, which offered them nothing, Mrs Maguire said. It appeared more young people seemed to get "lumbered" by police in the ACT than in other places.