Going from bad to worse
ONE of three Townsville detainees reportedly used as “enforcers” by staff at the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre, is the teen alleged to have bashed a guard at Cleveland last month.
The detainee from Aurukun, who has returned to Cleveland, is also facing charges after the alleged assault of a youth worker over a game of football on June 14, in what police called an “unprovoked attack”. The Townsville trio were transferred from Cleveland Youth Detention Centre to Brisbane following a riot at the Townsville facility on November 10 last year.
The Brisbane revelations are detailed in an inspection report released by the Department of Justice and AttorneyGeneral.
The report cites favouritism shown toward the three teens from Cleveland as one of the catalysts for an incident at the Brisbane Detention Centre on January 30, when detainees destroyed an accommodation unit and climbed on the roof.
“At root, the incident was largely precipitated by alleged staff favouritism shown toward three youths transferred in from the Cleveland Youth Detention Centre ( CYDC) after leading the riot there on 10 November 2016,” the inspection report reads.
“There were related allegations and some presenting evidence that the CYDC arrivals had been used by staff as ‘ en- forcers’ to intimidate troublesome BYDC youths.
“In any event, the factional tension between CYDC and BYDC had severely disrupted schooling provision.”
A spokesman for the Department of Justice and Attorney- General said they were investigating the allegations.
“Any allegation of actions by young people in detention or by staff that could compromise the safety and security of youth detention centres is taken very seriously and is always fully investigated,” the spokesman said.
“If investigations find that staff have failed to follow approved policies and procedures, it is open to the department to take disciplinary action under the Public Service Act.”
A source inside Cleveland Detention Centre said staff were still not showing up to work and the return of the rioters was another kick in the guts for youth workers.
“There’s a lot of politics being played out there at the moment,” the source said.
“They’ve even got some mob coming out here to pick up rocks every week.
“They do certain areas of the centre, and they just pick up rocks.
“The major problem at the moment is the revolving door of staff.
“We can’t get anyone to turn up, which means we can’t let the teens out of the unit.
“People who have only been there a month are taking sick days.
“It’s full- on and the incidents out there aren’t stopping.”