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WA minister rejects juvenile centre claims

AAP logoAAP 2/01/2017

WA's corrective services minister has rubbished opposition claims the government has lost control of the juvenile detention facility where three boys caused a ruckus on New Year's Eve.

Three teenagers allegedly damaged a unit at Banksia Hill Detention Centre on Saturday, then climbed on the roof and threw objects at officers, and one boy also tried to start a fire.

Opposition leader Mark McGowan said on Monday it was disturbing to have yet another incident at the facility and claimed the government had lost control of the prison.

But Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis described the comment as rubbish and absolute nonsense.

Mr Francis said there were currently 130 juveniles in detention and the facility had a capacity of 260, so it was not crowded, adding it had the highest ratio of staff to inmates of any prison in WA.

He said the youths could not be locked up in their cells all the time because it would not help their rehabilitation, so they were let out for activities and sometimes they "played up".

"They're there for a reason. They are very difficult kids to manage," he said.

The damage bill from the incident has not yet been revealed.

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