TEEN JAIL ANARCHY
Staff evacuated and police called as kids in detention riot again
TEENAGE inmates were last night rioting at Parkville Youth Justice Precinct, trying to break out of a secure section of the facility.
The Sunday Herald Sun understands staff had to be evacuated to protect their own safety and handed control of the facility to Victoria Police around 8.15pm.
A police spokeswoman confirmed that a number of units were on the scene to assist with a “disturbance”.
More than 30 police officers were on site, including the critical incident response team, the dog squad, police air wing and paramedics.
Sources said a group of up to 20 inmates had broken out of the southern unit of the centre and were trying to force their way into the northern unit, where staff had earlier been moved.
A worker said they felt “threaten- ed” when they saw the fight break out. Another staff member said the fight between the north and south units was “extremely rowdy” . “It was really bad,” the worker said. Last night’s incident was the fifth serious one at the facility in less than a year.
Victoria Police media spokeswom- an Amelia Penhall said: “A number of police units are currently on scene assisting the Department of Health and Human Services to resolve the situation.”
A DHHS spokesman confirmed late last night that there was an “ongoing incident”.
It was the second night in a row teenagers had caused trouble.
An inmate climbed into the roof of the facility on Friday night and smashed ceiling plaster.
DHHS confirmed youth justice staff resolved a “minor incident” on Friday night and there were no injuries.
The riot is the latest in a string of incidents at youth justice facilities in Victoria.
Up to a dozen youths are at the state’s highest security adult prison, Barwon, after they were moved following a riot in November.
Opposition youth affairs spokeswoman Georgie Crozier last night called for the minister to stand down. “It beggars belief that Minister Jenny Mikakos still hasn’t been sacked by Daniel Andrews,” Ms Crozier said.
“The only thing Jenny Mikakos seems capable of doing successfully is presiding over more and more crises.”
The Sunday Herald Sun has previously revealed that the damage bill from riots at Parkville and Malmsbury detention centres over the past two years has reached up to $10 million.
Riots on May 6 and August 17 last year caused extensive damage, including large holes in ceilings and walls, smashed doors and windows and destroyed office equipment.
Last March Parkville was locked down when six teenagers — some armed with metal bars — spent hours on a roof in a stand-off with guards and police.
In August, youths spent hours on a roof at the Parkville Youth Justice Centre, causing lockdowns for the second time that year. In mid-November, youths rioted inside Parkville and 30 inmates trashed their cells.
The next day another incident broke out when youths armed themselves with garden equipment. On November 17, teenagers were transferred to Barwon Prison after the Parkville Youth Justice Centre was damaged.
In late December, the Victorian Government failed in its bid to overturn the decision that said housing youths in Barwon was illegal.
On Tuesday, youths from Parkville rioted in the Grevillea unit of Barwon prison causing thousands of dollars in damage.
Last Friday saw an escape attempt by a teenager inside Parkville. The teen climbed into a roof cavity and made his way through the facility. firstname.lastname@example.org
Emergency services outside the Parkville Youth Justice Precinct last night.