Cell damage highlights detention centre safety concerns

The latest damage on cells at Hakea Prison reinforces the need for all building works and operational matters to be complete before juveniles return to the Banksia Hill Detention Centre according to the Community and Public Sector Union/Civil Association.

The spotlight is on 12 juvenile detainees who have been responsible for extensively damaging 10 cells on August 29.

The juveniles have been in special facility within the adult prison since January 20.

CPSU/CSA branch secretary Toni Walkington said the juveniles were at Hakea for good reason.

She said it would be irresponsible of the Barnett Government to force the premature relocation that could create even more of a cost to WA taxpayers if there was more damage at Banksia Hill.

Ms Walkington said the latest incident also highlighted the need to reduce the number of juveniles supervised by a youth custodial officer.

“The report released by the Inspector of Custodial Services earlier this month clearly showed that the staff ratios at Banksia Hill are the worst in Australia and more staff are needed for youth custodial officers to do their job safely effectively and safely,” Ms Walkington said.

“Better staff ratios will also help reduce the likelihood of cells being damaged as staff will be able to respond quicker.

“When our members met on Wednesday they expressed concern over the remarks Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis made about the youth custodial officers which had resulted in undermining their authority with juveniles.”

The CPSU/CSA calls on the minister to desist from further remarks and engage in constructive discussion about to ensure the facilities are safe and secure.


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