- Banksia Hill Detention Centre allocated $25.1 million as part of State Budget 2022‑23
- New Crisis Care Unit among critical infrastructure works across the facility
- Funding will also create a new Aboriginal Services Unit
- Number of Aboriginal welfare officers and health workers at the facility to be tripled
The McGowan Labor Government is investing $25.1 million towards improving services for youth in detention as part of its 2022-23 State Budget.
A new $7.5 million Crisis Care Unit will be built at Banksia Hill Detention Centre to provide a safe and therapeutic environment to support vulnerable, at-risk young people.
The unit is part of $21.6 million in funding for critical infrastructure works at Banksia Hill over the 2021-22 to 2025-26 financial years.
The works include improvements to the centre's Intensive Supervision Unit, with new recreation areas and enhanced observation cells. Greater safety and security will be provided through CCTV upgrades and anti-climb roof and fencing.
In-cell media streaming for educational, therapeutic and cultural materials, and other education technology upgrades will improve computer literacy and job prospects for young people upon their release.
Additionally, $3.6 million will be invested towards staffing an Aboriginal Services Unit, which will provide specific cultural support and services to help address overrepresentation of Aboriginal young people at Banksia Hill, including those from regional WA.
The Aboriginal Services Unit will provide access to interpreters, provision of cultural practice and guidance to the young people and centre staff.
Catering for a cohort of young people in a culturally safe way will improve outcomes, aligns with best practice and will contribute to providing cultural education across the site.
New staff positions will include eight more Aboriginal welfare officers and Aboriginal medical and mental health workers, bringing the total to 12.
Banksia Hill's medical services will prioritise Aboriginal health initiatives and improve the health of Aboriginal young people through primary and acute health care.
Through the provision of cultural awareness and sensitivity training, these new positions will contribute to the cultural safety processes and practices for young people requiring medical services.
Comments attributed to Corrective Services Minister Bill Johnston:
"I understand Banksia Hill has had its challenges in the past year, but the McGowan Government remains committed to the safety of both staff and detainees.
"This extra funding will protect some of our most vulnerable young people and enhance community safety, by ensuring detainees are supported and empowered not to reoffend.
"The tripling of Aboriginal welfare staff and the creation of the Aboriginal Services Unit will give detainees the rehabilitative support they need to help them break the cycle and reduce youth offending around the State.
"The investment includes both immediate response plans and long-term infrastructure commitments.
"The Government wants to ensure positive outcomes for all young people, and is particularly focused on supporting Aboriginal youth across WA.
"A recent Federal Government Productivity report found the number of youth in WA detention has halved in the past 10 years. We are focused on doing everything we can to continue this trend."
Corrective Services Minster's Office 6552 6700.