An independent watchdog needs to be appointed to oversee the return of juveniles to the Banksia Hill detention centre, the WA Commissioner for Children and Young People says.
Seven months to the day after children were transferred to Hakea Prison after a riot trashed the State's only detention centre for juveniles, Michelle Scott yesterday raised concerns that there were no plans to improve rehabilitation programs at Banksia Hill.
Ms Scott's comments came as the Department of Corrective Services confirmed another cell had been damaged in the segregated units at Hakea adult men's jail yesterday. In just under two months, 17 cells have been damaged to the extent that they could not be used.
The department has also confirmed that juveniles will not start to be transferred back to Banksia Hill on Monday because bad weather and problems securing building supplies had delayed construction at the centre.
Ms Scott said an independent person was needed to monitor the practical arrangements for the transfer of the juveniles back to Banksia. She said juveniles continued to be subjected to harsh conditions at Hakea, including regular strip searches and long periods of lockdown.
"While there have been reports and focus on increasing physical security at Banksia Hill, I have received no indication that the basic provision of services for young people in detention has been addressed," she said.
Shadow corrective services minister Paul Papalia said he shared Ms Scott's concerns and there was no indication the Government had done anything to improve the poor program delivery that existed before the January riot.Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis said he was concerned about the transfer of juveniles back to Banksia Hill and had asked Inspector of Custodial Services Neil Morgan to provide ongoing advice on the process.