Western Australia contravening human rights

March 18, 2013

Students and staff from Murdoch University’s School of Law and SCALES community legal centre are challenging the conditions under which juvenile offenders are being held at Hakea adult prison.

Hakea is currently home to an estimated 150 young people who were transferred from Banksia Hill juvenile detention facility following a widely publicised riot at on January 20, 2013.

However, Director of Clinical Legal Programs Anna Copeland said the conditions the juvenile offenders were being held in directly contravened Western Australia’s human rights obligations and the provisions of the Young Offenders Act (WA).

“As a result of the Banksia Hill riot, all the boys from that facility have been transferred to Hakea adult prison, whether they were involved in the riot or not,” she said.

“The inappropriate nature of the facilities at Hakea has resulted in many negative impacts on the young people now detained there.”

Ms Copeland said these issues included:

  • Long periods of lockdown, initially for 24 hours a day
  • Limited access to family and friends through a limited visits program
  • Limited access to education programs and little or no access to rehabilitation programs
  • Limited food, resulting in visible weight loss in many of the boys
  • Incidences of aggression and bullying from adult prison officers not trained in dealing with young people

“In response to this unacceptable situation, our clinical legal education students have made submissions to the Inquiry into the Riot at Banksia Hill and the Senate Inquiry into the Value of Justice Re-investment,” Ms Copeland said.

“They are also working with human rights lawyers and barristers to try to improve the situation for these young people.”

Print This Post Print This Post

Leave a comment

You can use these tags : <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

We read every comment and will make every effort to approve each new comment within one working day. To ensure speedy posting, please keep your comments relevant to the topic of discussion, free of inappropriate language and in-line with the editorial integrity of this newsroom. If not, your comments may not be published.

Thanks for commenting!