You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Centre riot ringleaders moved to Brisbane

AAP logoAAP 12/11/2016 Sarah Motherwell

Three young inmates identified as the ringleaders of a violent riot at a Townsville detention centre are being flown to Brisbane for the protection of staff and detainees.

A man blinded in one eye was among the four prison guards injured during the riot at the Cleveland Youth Detention Centre on Thursday night, which saw 20 youths take full control of the centre for over 12 hours.

It took more than 60 police officers including a specialist "shield team" to claw back order and rescue 29 staff trapped in the visitors' centre.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said the trio, who are being transferred to Brisbane Youth Detention Centre, would face serious criminal charges.

Ms D'Ath said a number of Cleveland staff may be too traumatised to return to work so soon and were being offered face-to-face counselling.

She said nine additional youth justice workers would be immediately rostered to assist remaining staff deal with the more than 80 inmates housed at the centre.

The riot started after a group playing football in a common area suddenly turned on guards.

The inmates armed themselves with with planks of wood and metal bars from a construction site within the centre before climbing onto a rooftop.

They made demands for deliveries of KFC and alcohol, while pelting police and prison staff with rocks and other projectiles.

The government has announced a full review into the incident while Ms D'Ath denied repeated questions that guards were not allowed to defend themselves and restrain the detainees.

Alex Scott from the Together Union, which represents the centre's guards, said the staff didn't stand a chance of defending themselves as they're not given any equipment including riot shields.

"We've been saying for a number of years that there needs to be appropriate equipment for youth workers to respond when these sort of instances occur," Mr Scott said.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon