A highly critical 2015 independent report on the Ashley Youth Detention Centre has been made public, detailing inadequate staff training and unsuitable detainee living conditions.
The report criticised the little meaningful interaction between workers and detainees and stated a concern over a lack of governance and management presence.
It condemned custom and practice for taking precedence over policy and procedure, and noted an out-of-date youth worker roster system, and an over-reliance on casual workers.
The report, by Metis Management Consulting, recommended worker training be reviewed, stating staff were “preferring to use physical means of dealing with young people rather than the de-escalation techniques emphasised in the training.”
It said detainee units were “spartan and unwelcoming”.
“Extreme boredom was expressed by many of the young people with the potential for behavioural issues to lead to more confrontation between youth workers and detainees,” the report said.
“The current culture is one that overall leans towards punishment rather than being restorative and rehabilitative.”
The report expressed concern over worker injury rates almost doubling over a two-year period, saying there needed to be greater oversight of workers who returned after physical injuries, also noting there was a strong feeling among staff and management that sick leave entitlements were being abused.
These details have come to light as several investigations look into the restraint method used by a worker at the centre during a clash with a detainee last month.
Human Services Minister Jacqui Petrusma said the report had guided changes to the centre including a reappointment of a new centre manager and specialist in youth services.
She said there was now ongoing staff training in risk management and non-violent crisis intervention.
Ms Petrusma said the centre’s model and design is being examined in the government’s Youth at Risk Strategy.