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Positive rehabilitation programs support young people in detention

The Commissioner for Children and Young People Colin Pettit visited Banksia Hill Detention Centre yesterday to inspect the facility and learn more about how it operates.

Corrective Services Deputy Commissioner of Youth Justice Services Rachael Green and Superintendent Ray Edge met with the Commissioner and outlined several major improvements made to the Centre’s facilities and programs over the last six months that better support young people’s needs.

The Commissioner said it was pleasing the Centre was continuing to improve its focus on creating a safe environment for young people in detention with an emphasis on education.

“During my visit I was provided the opportunity to view the entire facility and speak with staff and the young people in detention, who provided valuable insight into the day-to-day operations at the Centre,” Mr Pettit said.

“Importantly, Banksia Hill staff are designing programs and facilities, such as recreation areas, in consultation with young people to help educate them about positive social behaviours and help them build a more positive future.”

Research shows that the more serious a sentence, such as detention compared with a community-based sentence, the more likely a child or young person is to continue to offend into adulthood.

“Diverting children and young people away from the formal youth justice system at the earliest opportunity is considered to be most effective in reducing crime, and is why investment in therapeutic programs that support children and young people and their families is a critical priority area,” Mr Pettit said.

Banksia Hill is the only WA detention centre for offenders aged 10 to 17 years, accommodating young males and females from across the State.