Culture of cover-up in corrections-Giles


The Northern Territory government says there's been a culture of cover-up within the territory's juvenile corrections system.

"Seeing some of that footage last night and understanding many of the historical elements within our corrections system, that I think over time there has most certainly been a culture of cover-up," Chief Minister Adam Giles told reporters on Tuesday.

His admission comes after the ABC Four Corners program on Monday night aired shocking footage of youths in detention in the NT being abused by custody officers.

Mr Giles said he visited the facility at the centre of the controversy, Don Dale, early this morning with the NT corrections commissioner.

"I inspected the intake area, I saw many of the detainees in their place of residence. I saw them playing football and I just wanted to make sure that I was comfortable with the level of amenity," he said.

The chief minister announced the NT government planned to build a new youth detention centre if it is re-elected at the territory election on August 31.

Mr Giles also said a previously announced root-and-branch review of the corrections system would be handed down on Friday.

The federal government on Tuesday announced a royal commission into abuse of inmates within the juvenile justice system.

Mr Giles defended his government's record on juvenile justice since CLP was returned in 2012.

"What we're changing is a culture of an organisation within the youth detention system and I think we've come a long way in that time," he said.

"We take full responsibility but what we also say is it is a challenging environment."

The chief minister was also asked about the use of masks to prevent detainees from spitting on guards.

"Where you have children who are threatening to smash their had head against a wall, to break their arms on prison doors, they are spitting on Corrections officers, we need to put in place the best, humane procedures possible," Mr Giles said.

"Everybody wants the children of Australia to be loved and cared for.

"Unfortunately, some of them are coming through child protection, some are finding their way into detention and we have to protect them as well as try and rehabilitate them."