The usefulness and reliability of the rules and administrative procedures in the Department of Corrective Services is not assisted by the apparent lack of regular review. Standing order 1 provides that a regular review of and updates of Juvenile custodial rules (JCRs) and Standing orders (SOs) ‘shall be undertaken in order to maximise currency of the contents’. This has not occurred. Youth Custodial Services is currently operating with SOs which are dated 30 June 2009 and are still headed so as to apply to ‘Banksia Hill Detention and Rangeview Remand’. Despite the fact that units 11 and 12 at Hakea have been declared to be a detention centre since early February 2013, it appears that no steps have been taken by the Department to amend the SO’s so that it is clear that they apply equally to Hakea Juvenile Facility.
The JCRs have been reviewed and republished as the YCRs. They are expressed as being ‘effective from 27 August 2012’. However, they were not published by the Department until 5 March 2013. The Department informed this Inquiry that, at the time of the riot, a complete suite of policies and procedures was not in place at Banksia Hill. Specifically there were no security, drug or searching strategies in place.
In a previous inspection report the Inspector raised significant concerns about the degree to which Departmental policies and practices in the area of managing poor behaviour of detainees appeared to be out of line with the letter and spirit of the Youth Offenders Act as well as concerns about the data, documentation and record keeping practices of the Department. Despite some resistance to the inspection findings, at that time, the management team at Banksia Hill acknowledged the various rules and orders needed a complete review and a substantial rewrite.
Although some steps have been taken by the Department with the review and publication of the YCRs, the Inquiry has shown that there remains cause for considerable concern about the efficacy of the review of rules and procedures and whether some of them are in fact compliant with the law and national and international practice. See in particular the comments below relating to the practices of lockdown and the use of restraints.
In addition, the detention of young people within Hakea Prison grounds appears to have caused confusion about the proper application of rules and procedures to the detainees housed in Units 11 and 12. As described below, Units 11 and 12 of Hakea Prison have been gazetted as a detention centre following a declaration made by the Minister under s 13 of the Youth Offenders Act. They are no longer part of a prison. However, the Superintendent of Hakea Prison issued a Local Order pursuant to section 36(3) of the Prisons Act 1981 which sets out detailed provisions governing the ‘accommodation, daily routine, welfare, and other management issues regarding juvenile detainees’ within Units 11 and 12, including a time table for the detainees ‘structured day’.
Section 36(3) of the Prisons Act 1981 allows the Superintendent of a prison to ‘issue such orders to officers and prisoners as are necessary for the good government, good order, and security of the prison of which he is the Superintendent’ (emphasis added). ‘Prisoners’ are those persons committed to a prison and the Superintendent of Hakea Prison would seem to have no authority to make orders prescribing the day to management of detainees within Units 11 and 12.