This study is the first to examine reactions to, and the management of organisational change within the juvenile justice sector through the public administration lens. This is achieved via a state-wide study on the introduction of a policy framework in eight juvenile justice centres to manage detainee behaviour. Data on centre demographics, framework implementation, and associated outcomes were analysed. Despite the common framework, the eight centres reacted to, and managed organisational change in disparate ways with disparate effects - some of which appear counterintuitive. These findings demonstrate the ways in which organisational context shapes reactions to, and the management of organisational change within the public sector.