Lockridge Disability Justice Centre detainee missing for 22 hours

A DETAINEE at the Bennett Brook Disability Justice Centre went missing for 22 hours last month.

Two residents currently live in the six-month-old Lockridge centre, WA’s first alternative to prison for people with disabilities or impairments who are unfit to plead to criminal charges.

Two residents scaled a fence and absconded on New Year’s Eve last year, which prompted an internal security review.

Disability Services Minister Donna Faragher said in parliament last week a resident returned 22 hours late after a leave of absence on March 17.

Ms Faragher said there had been no escapes this year but works to the boundary fence had not been carried out yet.

“Analysis of the security requirements, architectural design work and detailed planning for the modification of the fence has been completed and the work is due to commence,” she said.

Eden Hill Primary School board chairman Andrew Hayes said waiting four months for the fence to be fixed was “not acceptable”.

“For that not to have been rectified, that’s pretty scary stuff,” he said.

Mr Hayes said people in the community would be concerned about the missing resident.

“The fact that that someone else left there and hasn’t been returned for 22 hours is a concern to the community,” he said.

Bassendean MLA Dave Kelly said residents were concerned that despite all the assurances given after the New Year’s Eve escape another detainee had gone missing.

“I also don’t understand how the fence has not been fixed 14 weeks after the escape,” Mr Kelly said.

“We were told a weak spot had been found in the fence and that it would be fixed, instead it sounds like the whole fence must be a problem.”

An independent review, released last month, was also commissioned by the State Government following the incident on New Year’s.

The Government is set to implement all five recommendations including to conduct a formal operations review in 2017, record breaches of leaves of absences and subsequent punishment, offer more activities to detainees and modify individual development plans.

They will also start an education program to ensure more lawyers were aware of the programs available at the centre.