Review of Youth Custody: Follow-up to 2023 Inspection (Part 2)

Banksia Hill Detention Centre and Unit 18 at Casuarina Prison were last inspected in February 2023. That inspection found young people, staff, and a physical environment in acute crisis. As such, the Inspector made the unusual decision to produce his findings in a truncated and expedited report to focus on the immediate concerns challenging youth custody.

A second report was intended in the following months focussing on welfare and other supports available and accessible to the young people. However, this plan was undone by a major riot at Banksia Hill. The riot resulted in significant infrastructure damage and was a further setback leading to restrictions to the daily regime that negatively affected the services expected to be considered in the second report. The situation deteriorated further culminating in the tragic suicide of Master Dodd in October 2023. During this period, the intended objective of the second report could not be achieved with many services not consistently delivered.

Throughout 2023 and 2024 OICS has continued to closely monitor service delivery and out of cell hours with regular visits and data monitoring, tracking and analysis. Some signs of improvement were observed with better staffing numbers and a return of services like education, psychology, case management support, community in-reach, recreation, and other supports. However, our most recent visits and data analysis note some slippage.

This review will examine young people’s access to services since the last inspection focussing on young people’s time out of cell attending education and programs, as well as their access to available welfare and support services. The terms of reference are:

  1. Has adequate progress been achieved in service accessibility for young people since the OICS inspection in February 2023?
  2. Has any deterioration in progress been mitigated to the best it can by appropriate departmental contingency planning?

Click here to read more about our last inspection of Banksia Hill Detention Centre