Questions asked about Banksia Hill Detention Centre

BANKSIA Hill Detention Centre is housing children who should be released on bail, simply because there is no appropriate accommodation for them.

Greens MLC Alison Xamon asked Corrective Services Minister Stephen Dawson in Parliament for the number of inmates and the number of juveniles there because there is no accommodation elsewhere.

Mr Dawson said the Department of Justice advised that as of midnight October 9 there were 137 inmates at the Canning Vale facility and three juveniles were there.

“What is happening is that children who do not have a home to go to are being sent to Banksia Hill,” Ms Xamon said.

The Young Offenders Act 1994 provided that detention should only be a last resort.

“Banksia Hill Detention Centre is a maximum security custodial facility – certainly not an appropriate place for children who do not need to be there,” she said.

It also made poor economic sense to unnecessarily incarcerate children at a cost to the State of $1000 per day – or $360,000 per year per child.

“While I welcome the establishment of the Driscoll Drive Youth Transitional Accommodation Program (YTAP), that program is for young people being released from Banksia Hill who do not have suitable accommodation, not this specific group,” Ms Xamon said.

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