We have use the pseudonyms ‘John’ and ‘Richard’ when referring to the young people these allegations relate to.


John had a serious history of self-harm before May 2017, but the evidence does not support claims of 100 attempts at self-harm since that time.

The evidence does not support claims that John’s mother was not notified about a large number of self-harm incidents from May to December 2017.


Education has been substandard at Banksia Hill for all young people for some time. But John and Richard have accessed education services while placed in the ISU.

Programs and services

Richard has completed some programs and accessed various support services and activities while in the ISU.

Strip searching

There is no evidence that John was regularly strip searched during his time in the ISU.

Banksia Hill has significantly reduced strip searching and is also trialling alternatives to reduce trauma and indignity.


The records of restraint use are inadequate but we concluded that, for a significant time, John and Richard were handcuffed when they were out of cell. Due to the lack of records, the Department could not show that its use of restraints was justified.


It is standard practice when a young person is disruptive that meals are passed through a hatch or for the young person to stand at the back of the cell when food is delivered. However, there is no specific evidence of when and why these practices were used for Richard.

There is no evidence that John has been deprived of meals.


There are no records to support or refute the claims about bedding in relation to John or Richard. But removal of bedding should only occur when a young person is at risk or in a short term holding cell.


On some days Richard did not shower, but it is not clear whether he declined to shower or was denied access.


There is no evidence to indicate that Richard was held in cell without any electricity for approximately two weeks.

Breach of state legislation and solitary confinement

For around ten days after the May 2017 incidents, John and Richard’s time out of cell fell short of requirements for a young person being held in ‘confinement’ under the Young Offenders Act 1994 and the Young Offenders Regulations 1995. However, the protections afforded to young people in ‘confinement’ did not apply because John and Richard were not being held in confinement under the Act. Their placement in the ISU has not breached state legislation.

John and Richard were probably held in solitary confinement for around ten days after the May 2017 incidents.

John and Richard have not been held in ‘prolonged’ solitary confinement as defined by international law.


Page last updated: August 13, 2018