The Department of Corrective Services welcomes the Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services’ (OICS) positive appraisal of Banksia Hill Detention Centre’s “pro-social environment.”
The centre has been described as continuing to impress with its well-controlled, calm environment and good standard of care, despite undergoing redevelopment.
In his report, Inspector Neil Morgan said the young people at the centre were overwhelmingly satisfied with the progress they were making in their classroom learning, believing it would help them with future employment or training.
“Most of the findings in this report are positive,” the Inspector wrote. “First and foremost, there was a noticeably marked improvement in the overall climate and atmosphere at the centre compared with 2008.”
The Inspector commended the positive interaction between staff and detainees and reported that the detainees interviewed by the inspection team thought the centre offered many programs able to “help them stay out of trouble after release.”
Detainee health care, staffing facilities and efforts to keep regional detainees connected with family via video visits were also praised.
The Inspector raised some concern with confinement and the use of regression techniques.
The Department supports the use of the regression regime and believes its staff have full understanding of its intent. It is also its position that young people are only ever confined when it is necessary for the good order and security of the centre.
Most recommendations for improvement will be addressed during the reviews of Juvenile Custodial Rules and the Young Offender Act 1994, already underway.
Community and Youth Justice Deputy Commissioner Heather Harker said the redevelopment of Banksia Hill was “a step forward.”
“It is an exciting and welcome opportunity for the Department to create a first class centre with increased capacity, flexibility and improved facilities for the management of some of the most difficult and disadvantaged young people in this State.”