There were no recommendations in the review paper as all recommendations were contained in the Inspector’s Directed Review. Recommendations relating to the contents of this review paper in the Inspector’s Directed Review are as follows:
The regime at Banksia Hill should be re-engineered so as to reflect a clear and consistent philosophy that accords with legislative requirements relating to juvenile detention. This philosophy should emphasise that the ultimate purpose is, as far as possible, to rehabilitate the young people and prepare them for release back into the community. To that end, and in order to improve safety and security, there must be a stronger emphasis on the provision of a full and active regime and positive rehabilitative programs, including:
- skills training;
- recreation and sport; and
- counselling and offender programs.
The balance between physical, procedural and dynamic security should be re-calibrated in ways that are consistent with the above objectives and the Department should develop and promulgate a statement as to how these matters should be balanced.
The Department should review its criteria and processes for making security ratings, ensure that these processes are consistently applied, and spell out in Youth Custodial Rules or elsewhere the operational and regime implications for each level of security.
The Department must ensure that the Youth Custodial Rules and Standing Orders relating to Banksia Hill are brought fully up to date. It should also institute processes for ensuring that they are regularly reviewed, remain relevant to changing circumstances and effectively communicated with staff with the provision of appropriate training.
The staff culture in relation to dynamic and procedural security should be addressed as a matter of urgency, with a particular emphasis on training needs and ongoing reinforcement. Where appropriate, the Department should be prepared to invoke disciplinary provisions if individual staff members fail to comply with requirements.
Physical security assessments should be regularly undertaken at Banksia Hill by the Department’s Emergency Support Group or other independent experts. The testing should reflect practical risk not just the physical strength of a structure. Where weaknesses are identified, appropriate remedial measures should be taken in a timely way and in a manner consistent with detention centre philosophies. All decisions and actions should be clearly recorded.
It is recommended that the Department undertakes a comprehensive assessment of how dynamic, procedural and physical security weaknesses are contributing to the high number of roof ascents by detainees and implements appropriate remedial measures.
The Department should examine ways to enhance its intelligence capacity through improvements to proactive as well as reactive information gathering/analysis.
The Department should resource and develop the on-site Security Team at Banksia Hill. Subject to ensuring that juvenile detention facilities are not equated with adult prisons, enhanced central security expertise should also be provided.
Staff generally, and the Primary Response Team (PRT ) in particular, should be provided with better training for responding to unfolding incidents and de-escalation techniques. This should occur in the context of more general training in dynamic and procedural security (see Recommendation 6). The PRT should not be equipped with weapons such as batons, pepper spray and Tasers.
Mechanical restraints must not be used as a routine measure to control the movement of detainees within detention centres. They should only be used following a proper assessment of the risk posed for and by the particular individual to be restrained in accordance with section 11D of the Young Offenders Act 1994.
The Department should review and alter its practices relating to the strip-searching of detainees:
(a) To cease the practice of routinely strip-searching detainees on every entry and exit to detention centres, particularly when they have been transported in a secure vehicle; and
(b) To ensure that strip-searches in relation to social visits are not routine but are undertaken only on reasonable suspicion of contraband, assessed on a case by case basis.