Amnesty International Australia’s allegations involve a number of specific claims about each young person and a general claim that they were both held in conditions of prolonged solitary confinement, in breach of state legislation and international law.
The evidence does not support the majority of these allegations. But, we have identified areas for improved record keeping and communication. It is also clear that a comprehensive review of legislation and other governance documents is required in relation to the use of special regimes and confinement.
Furthermore, this report needs to be read alongside our other reports. Banksia Hill has made positive progress in stability, safety, morale, and governance since May 2017. This is a tribute to staff and management, and everyone who spoke to us, including the young people’s advocates, recognised this.
But the centre still faces serious challenges. Most of these can be traced back to the decision of the former government in 2009 to make Banksia Hill the state’s only juvenile detention centre. Since that time, it has never enjoyed a significant period of stability or strong performance. One centre cannot adequately cater for so many young people, so much diversity, and such high levels of need. The recommendations of our other recent reports remain relevant and need to be actioned.