The West

Security and resource concerns about WA's only juvenile detention centre, including a warning by the State's independent prisons watchdog over the frequent lockdowns imposed on young offenders, have been raised repeatedly in the 12 months before Sunday night's riot.

In a report tabled in Parliament in March, before Banksia Hill was redeveloped to take detainees from the Rangeview remand centre, Inspector of Custodial Services Neil Morgan said staff shortages were leading to juveniles being locked down far more frequently than offenders in adult prisons.

In the report, based on an inspection in mid-2011, Professor Morgan said the centre was undergoing a fundamental transformation as it was redeveloped into the only juvenile facility in the State. "Only time will tell whether managing such a diverse group in a single institution in Perth is the best choice, but it certainly presents real opportunities for improvement," he said.

Security issues at Banksia Hill were highlighted about five months ago after two teenagers staged a violent escape from the facility in August, which prompted a review by the Department of Corrective Services.

Concerns were also raised by staff at a rally at Parliament House in June.

Shadow corrective services minister Fran Logan called on the State Government to release the report into the violent escape in August last year, saying there was no reason for it to have been kept secret.

"Clearly, if anything had been done it didn't work," Mr Logan said. "Because (on Sunday) we had the worst violence that juvenile corrective services has ever seen in WA."

Corrective Services Minister Murray Cowper said though the report on the breakout in August was confidential, all recommendations had been implemented.

"The matters that were raised in that particular document had no influence on what happened on Sunday," he said.

The West Australian

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