• Organisational restructuring and key personnel changes at executive level within the Department and in the senior management team at Banksia Hill had been disruptive and contributed to the lack of action in many areas.
  • The most fundamental shortfall was the ongoing absence of a clear and consistent operational philosophy for the centre.
  • Given the high proportion of Aboriginal young people in detention, there was not enough Aboriginal culture reflected in the physical environment of the centre or in the services and activities available to detainees.
  • Overall staff numbers had improved and there had been some improvement in staff morale. However, staff culture and morale remained a significant issue, and levels of personal leave and worker’s compensation leave were still high.
  • Staff and management deserved credit for the fact that a relatively calm and settled atmosphere had been restored at Banksia Hill.
  • The provision of additional resources to create a security team had facilitated a greater focus on security procedures and intelligence gathering. There had also been significant expenditure on strengthening the physical infrastructure throughout the site.
  • The Office was concerned by the high number of strip-searches being conducted in the centre and does not accept that this is justified by security considerations.
  • The security classification process for detainees remained severely under-developed, with the majority of detainees classified as maximum security and none at all classified as minimum security.
  • The daily routine was generally keeping young people busy with education, programs, recreation and other activities. There was evidence that detainees were spending less time locked in their cells.
  • Visits facilities were entirely inadequate. Unlike most adult facilities, there was no facility for visitors outside the centre and the visits room itself was far too small.
  • Case planning staff had been marginalised within the centre and the effectiveness of case management had been weakened. There was a need to integrate custodial staff into the case management of detainees, and to increase engagement with the families of detainees.
  • Education was suffering from a lack of strategic direction and the education centre was severely under-resourced in comparison to public schools.
  • Health care was generally good, although there were some notable gaps in services such as health promotion, and drug and alcohol counselling.
  • Mental health services were severely stretched and under threat because of the impending departure of the psychiatrist. There was a need for a purpose-built crisis care facility at Banksia Hill.
  • There was a lack of intensive, evidence-based programs to address offending behaviour at Banksia Hill. There was also a need to develop comprehensive re-entry support services for young people.
  • The inspection noted some improvement in the management of young women and girls in Yeeda Unit but major concerns persist. Female detainees continued to be a marginalised group within the centre and had poorer access to services than male detainees.
  • There was a significant cohort of male detainees who had passed the age of 18 but would remain at Banksia Hill until the completion of their custodial sentence. This had been identified by the Department as a growing issue at Banksia Hill, and preparations were under way to implement a Young Adult Development Program.
Page last updated: June 15, 2015
97: Report of an Announced Inspection of Banksia Hill Juvenile Detention Centre