A key factor precipitating the riot on the 20 January 2013 was the excessive detainee lockdowns. Staff shortages primarily contributed to these lockdowns occurring.
Staff shortages were the result of excessive unplanned leave, namely worker’s compensation leave and personal leave. In the month prior to the riot, on average, 22 out of 80 uniformed staff members were absent each day. Even after individuals were brought in to cover the shifts through overtime, on average, the facility was still down 15 uniformed staff each day. This made it extremely difficult to run a structured day that met the specific rehabilitative needs of detainees.
There are a number of factors that contributed to Banksia Hill’s excessive unplanned leave. It was evident that the Department were unable to manage the problem, with chronic under-resourcing of Human Resources at the centre level and a lack of support and resources from Head Office.
The high absenteeism also reflected an overall deterioration in morale and culture. The poor management of the amalgamation of Banksia Hill and Rangeview contributed to this decline. The distinct cultures of Rangeview and Banksia Hill were not accounted for in the amalgamation and the absence of shared policies, procedures and an underlying philosophy led to divisions among staff and confusion for detainees.