9 August 2013


MEDIA STATEMENT

ALSWA Supports OICS Banksia Hill Review and urges State Government to address crisis

9 August 2013

  

The Banksia Hill incident in January 2013 and subsequent Report of the Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services (the Office) provides further evidence that the Western Australian youth justice system is in a serious state of crisis, according to the Aboriginal Legal Service of WA (ALSWA).

 “The Inspector’s report is damning of the custodial regime that has been in place since this incident and ALSWA endorses the report and strongly supports its recommendations” said ALSWA CEO Dennis Eggington.

 “The State Government must commit to the reform of the juvenile justice system, because the current system has clearly failed. It’s not just the poor treatment and conditions of the young detainees, but the fact that WA has the second highest rate of juvenile detention of any jurisdiction in the nation, at almost twice the national average” said Mr. Eggington.

 ALSWA said that WA also had the highest rate of Aboriginal juvenile incarceration in the nation, adding to these already disgraceful figures.

 “The State Government must accept that the current juvenile justice system is unsustainable and its reform must be a priority.  When you consider that it costs around $624 a day, or $228,000 a year to hold a young person in detention in this state, surely the money can be better spent on a system that prioritises and resources quality, evidence-based rehabilitative programs”.

 ALSWA calls on the State Government to table a response to the report in Parliament within three months, detailing the extent to which it has implemented the recommendations.

Click here to view the full report from the Office.