NT commissioners see Don Dale youth centre

Commissioners Margaret White and Mick Gooda have visited Darwin's Don Dale Youth Detention Centre.

Nothing will make Darwin's former adult jail suitable for young offenders, the commissioners heard before touring what has been described as a "human storage facility".

Margaret White and Mick Gooda have visited Darwin's Don Dale Youth Detention Centre and the former facility, the site of graphic footage of youths being tear-gassed and spit hooded that sparked the NT child detention royal commission.

It was a confronting and sobering experience, they said.

The commissioners requested the visit so they could see firsthand the facilities and conditions to provide context when hearing evidence from children who have been or are in detention, a statement from the commission said.

At the former Don Dale detention facility, Ms White and Mr Gooda viewed the high security unit that featured in the 2014 footage screened on the ABC's Four Corners program in July.

The commissioners toured the current facility, viewing the medical centre, the 'Tivendale' school and the accommodation and recreation facilities.

They spoke to staff and indigenous youth justice officers to gain a better understanding of the day-to-day running of the centre, the statement said.

The statement said the commissioners also warmly engaged with a number of young people in the classroom, who showed their work and spoke about their experience.

The detention centre was moved to the site of the old Darwin correctional centre two years ago.

The facility should be closed as soon as practicable, the team behind a scathing review of the NT corrections system said.

Accommodating youth offenders in a facility that was condemned when it housed adult prisoners is unacceptable, and nothing will make the old Darwin correctional centre suitable for youth offenders, their report said.

Former Queensland Corrective Services director-general Keith Hamburger, who led the review, said there is no way to turn the Don Dale centre into the therapeutic environment needed to rehabilitate young offenders.

"To put them into cell blocks and run it like a guarding-type human storage facility is not the way to go," he told the commission this week.

The commissioners also visited the Darwin watch house, where youths and adults are assessed and charged, on Wednesday.