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WA mum's desperate plea for change of 'broken system'



The mother of a teenage detainee says her son has been "treated like an animal" at the Banksia Hill detention centre, following an inquiry into the facility's operations.

The woman, who wishes to stay anonymous, said her son spends more than 20 hours a day locked inside his cell.

She also said that inmates are not given the correct care or essential items at the detention centre. 

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"I heard my son saying, they treat us like animals and then they wonder why we act like animals."

"He's not brushing his teeth, he's not given necessities for him to feel human."

"There are times when he [went] days – two, three, four days – he went without having a shower."

Her son has been in and out of the detention centre since 2020. She says the system is broken, and that it's "important" for kids to feel like they matter.

The mother's claims come one day after parliament reviewed fifty complaints in a hearing on Thursday.

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Misconduct by staff and serious assault were just some of the complaints discussed during the hearing, with 42 allegations coming from the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia.

"This is a problem that has existed for some time but it's certainly come to a head and it's time for the government to take a different approach," Lawyer Dana Levitt said.

Thirty of the cases reviewed have been closed. 29 of them were found to have no disciplinary breaches. 

Ten will be subject to further investigation, while another two are being assessed. 

Western Australian minister Reece Whitby said there was "no easy solution" to the issue.

"These are incredibly difficult issues dealing with young people and sometimes young adults who have complex issues."

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