Labor’s failed Cleveland Youth Detention Centre needs independent inquiry

Shadow Minister for Police and Corrective Services Dale Last

The crisis engulfing the Cleveland Youth Detention Centre has become so serious and potentially deadly that the LNP is pushing for an independent inquiry.

Shadow Minister for Police and Corrective Services Dale Last made the announcement in Townsville today, amid growing fears by whistleblowers and staff members at the facility.

“It’s only a matter of time before the government’s failure to protect the staff will have fatal consequences,” Mr Last said.

“Staff are leaving home to go to work fearing the worst.

“This should ring alarm bells for the State Government.

“It’s been more than four years since the riot at the Cleveland Youth Detention Centre and despite the horrific injuries, staff at the centre are still fearing they will be seriously assaulted.

“The State Government’s focus is solely on offenders not victims.

“The new revelations about Cleveland Youth Detention Centre shows that the State Government is failing to address youth crime and is also failing the hard-working staff in the centre.

“The last inspection report (March 2021) highlighted staff shortages as a major problem.

“The Minister cannot say she is not aware of those issues.

“There is legislation due to go before parliament this year to establish an Inspector of Detention Services who will be responsible for ensuring the rights of people held in jails, detention centres and watch houses.

“But there is not one mention in that legislation about the rights of the staff working in places like Cleveland to go home safely each day.

“The Youth Justice Act outlines the responsibilities of the Chief Executive when it comes to detention centres. 

“There is not one mention of ensuring the safety of staff and that is simply not good enough.”

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