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Qld youth detention boss quits after riot

AAP logoAAP 20/11/2016

A Townsville youth detention centre boss has quit after a violent riot that left four guards injured.

Cleveland Youth Detention Centre Director Peter Owens resigned on Friday, a week after the riot which saw 20 youths take control of the centre for more than 12 hours.

One of the injured guards fears he may be permanently blinded in one eye after being pelted by a rock during the mayhem.

Grant Oakland, 55, underwent an emergency operation to reattach his retina on Thursday and will require several more rounds of surgery although it looks increasingly unlikely he will regain sight in the eye.

Police investigations are ongoing into the November 10 riot, which saw parts of the centre trashed and inmates armed themselves with planks of woods and metal bars from a construction area.

They then scaled a rooftop where they demanded deliveries of KFC and alcohol, while throwing rocks and other projectiles at prison staff and police.

The union representing the prison's guards, said the staff didn't stand a chance of defending themselves as they're not given any equipment including riot shields.

A spokesman for Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath confirmed Mr Owens had resigned.

"His departure presents an opportunity for new ideas and a fresh approach in the operation of the Cleveland Youth Detention Centre," he said.

An investigation by Youth Justice, overseen by the Chief Inspector of Corrections, is also underway to ensure the continued safe operation of the detention centre.

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