A teenage inmate reportedly "threatened to behead a police officer and left a prison guard with six stitches", as juvenile centre prison guards claim that non-violent offenders are being radicalised by extremist inmates.
Prison staff are demanding a maximum security facility for radical juveniles so that offenders like the 16-year-old in question aren’t influenced by the likes of two other teenagers accused of plotting an Islamic State terrorist act in Sydney.
Staff at the besieged Cobham Juvenile Correctional Centre in Werrington, in Sydney’s west reprimanded the boy when he spat on one officer and assaulted another as he refused to return to his cell, News Corp reports.
Public Service Association general secretary Stewart Little has called for a Supermax-type facility to be built for particularly high-risk youths.
“You’ve got juveniles who have been charged with terror-related offences and they’ve got tactical response units escorting them to and from court,” Mr Little told News Corp.
“Yet when they go back into the juvenile facility they’re back in the general population."
When police came to interview the teenager the following day, he threatened to behead an officer, prompting prison staff to remove him from the room.
As they escorted him back to his own room, he kicked the door, hitting an officer in the head.
The officer required six stitches as a result of the injury he sustained in the incident.
The boy has no known links to existimists and has not been charged with terror offences.
However, two other boys at the centre were arrested in October and charged with planning an act of terror.
“If they’re dangerous enough to need police escorts, they’re dangerous enough to provide a specialised facility," Mr Little added.
“The problem is the influence they have on other detainees and we’ve seen that within the correctional system.
“There are at least four detainees charged with terror offences, but on top of that you’ve also got numerous other high-risk detainees with a history of violence and it is impossible to manage in the general population.”
The assault comes after multiple riots at the juvenile centre saw inmates climb onto the facility's roof in one case the standoff lasted more than nine hours.
Corrections Minister David Elliott told News Corp that the centre "has the appropriate facilities for high-risk detainees".
Newsbreak – February 19