Juvenile offenders could be given early release from detention to allow them to secure accommodation and rehabilitation programs under proposed changes being considered by the State Government.
The Supervised Release Review Board, which oversees juvenile offenders serving the equivalent of parole, has recommended changes to the system of detention and community supervision in a bid to fix persistent problems, which include not enough programs and accommodation.
Board chairman and former Supreme Court judge Michael Murray, who has outlined details of proposals in his annual report, has also repeated concerns about some juveniles remaining in detention because there is nowhere for them to go except accommodation that exposes them to danger.
Mr Murray, who has put the proposals to Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis, has called for rehabilitation programs to be provided while juveniles are on remand waiting for their case to be resolved by the court. He has recommended legislation be amended to give the board the power to impose orders allowing juveniles to be released in the last three months of their sentence, before they would usually become eligible for supervision.
The pre-release orders would allow the young offenders to undertake treatment or move into accommodation that might cease to be available.
Mr Murray has also proposed that the board to be given a limited power to fix a term of supervision, which is currently set at half the sentence, to allow more time to work on offenders' rehabilitation in the community.
Commenting after the report was tabled, Mr Murray said the riot at Banksia Hill detention centre and transfer of juveniles to temporary accommodation had been a "nightmare" for the board because it had further limited access to programs.
Mr Francis said $130,000 had been allocated to provide treatment programs for juveniles on remand.He said the board's other recommendations were taken seriously and being considered as part of a review of the Young Offenders Act.