Hakea Prison is in close proximity to Banksia Hill and, by remarkable good fortune, on the night of the riot it had an unoccupied unit.
In hindsight, the decision to transfer detainees to Hakea on the night of the riot is likely to have been the least worst option for the detainees. However, the rationale for the decision to transfer the juveniles to Hakea on the night of the riot is very unclear. On the information provided to the Inquiry the decision to transfer the detainees was made in the Incident Control Facility (ICF) at Head Office after a discussion between those involved, of the available options. There is no written record of what options were considered on the night prior to the transfer taking place.
The records show that the ICF at Head Office was set up at 8:15 pm. At 8:30 pm contact was made with Hakea to prepare for the arrival of detainees. Although the making of prompt decisions during an emergency incident, is commendable, it is concerning that this decision was apparently made in 15 minutes without any documentation of the implications of the transfers and any alternatives considered. If this decision was made prior to the establishment of the ICF it becomes even more important to document who was involved in the decision making and what was considered.
The Inquiry found that neither the then Commissioner nor Centre Management of Banksia Hill was involved in making the decision to transfer the juveniles to Hakea on the night of the riot. However, each of these individuals supported the decision as it was clear to them that there were limited options available. Extensive work was done in the days after the riot to examine other options, but none provided a better alternative.