• Security in a custodial facility comprises three related elements:
    • Physical Security – integrated physical structures and mechanical and electronic systems.
    • Procedural (or Process) Security – effective systems and processes to ensure the coherent, consistent and coordinated application of measures such as controlling movements around the site, searching of people in custody and screening of visitors.
    • Dynamic (or Relational) Security – a busy regime and a positive, professional engagement between staff and people in custody so that staff can understand the issues and garner good intelligence.

All three elements must be balanced and dynamic security is the essential linchpin. Austere physical ‘target hardening’ and confrontational procedural security cannot stand alone and such approaches generally exacerbate risk.

  • Some security considerations are so basic that they should apply at all sites. However, custodial facilities vary widely and the precise balance must reflect factors such as security ratings, gender and age. It follows that a facility such as Banksia Hill must be clear in its purpose and practices. The main findings of this report are as follows:
    • There are some design and infrastructure issues. Amalgamation and onsite construction also posed obvious risks. However, it would be wrong to ‘blame the buildings’ as Banksia Hill’s problems have straddled all three components of security.
    • Banksia Hill did not have a clear operating philosophy.
    • Key rules governing its operations were out of date or inaccessible.
    • Dynamic (relational) security was poor.
    • There was a complacent security culture, evidenced by some very basic physical and procedural security lapses.
    • Too many issues were left unaddressed even after they had been identified.
    • Banksia Hill lacked effective and consistent head office support.
    • Early on, the vision and planning for amalgamation were intelligent and structured; however, the subsequent lack of coordinated, consistent direction and poor engagement with staff elevated the risks.
  • The findings of this Review are generally consistent with the findings of previous reviews by the Department itself. They are also unlikely to be at odds with the findings of the Operational Review currently being conducted by the Professional Standards Division of the Department. Unfortunately, the evidence is that previous Departmental reviews have either been ignored or not properly followed up. That must not be allowed to happen again.
Page last updated: April 4, 2014

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