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Own initiative investigation report : services provided by the Department of Correctional Services at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre



Own initiative investigation report : services provided by the Department of Correctional Services at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre

Other title

Report to the Minister


E-Publications; PublicationNT; E-Books




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).; The decision to conduct this self-initiated investigation was made by the former Children’s Commissioner, Dr Howard Bath, and was based on events that occurred at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre (‘Don Dale’) in the Behaviour Management Unit (‘BMU’) between 4 and 21 August 2014. This investigation was conducted in accordance with Section 10(1)(a)(ii) of the Children’s Commissioner Act 2013 (the Act) which allows the Commissioner, on his own initiative, to investigate a matter which may form the grounds for a complaint.


"Dear Minister. In accordance with section 43(2) of the Children's Commissioner Act 2013, I provide you with my final own initiative investigation based on events that occurred at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in the Behavius Management Unit between 4 and 21 August 2014'. p. 1.

Table of contents

Jurisdiction -- Formalities -- Background to investigation -- Process of investigation -- Investigation issues: issue 1; The decisions made and actions taken by Correctional Service staff at Don Dale in relation to young persons confined within the BMU on 21 August 2014 -- Issue 1 Findings -- Issue 2: The period of time young persons were confined within the BMU and the purpose of this procedure -- Issue 2 Findings -- Issue 3: The access young persons have had in regard to making a complaint to the Children’s Commissioner -- Issue 3 Findings -- Issue 4: The access young persons had to external service providers when confined within the BMU -- Issue 4 Findings -- Issue 5: The provisions in place to ensure the emotional and psychological welfare of young persons in the BMU -- Issue 5 Findings -- Issue 6: The contact young persons housed within the BMU have had with family members -- Issue 6 Findings -- Issue 7: The supervision and monitoring provided to the young persons whilst they were accommodated within the BMU -- Issue 7 Findings -- Recommendations -- Departmental response. -- Attachment A & B




Juvenile detention homes -- Northern Territory -- Darwin Region; Juvenile delinquents -- Rehabilitation -- Northern Territory

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Northern Territory. Office of the Children's Commissioner

Place of publication

Casuarina (N.T.)


52 pages : illustrations, plans ; 30 cm.

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P a g e | 17 E then attempted to climb through the broken storeroom window. He was poked back into the BMU by a YJO who was in the storeroom, using an object that resembled a broom handle. Handicam footage recorded the following conversation between YJO staff in the store room: No, let the fucker come through because when he comes through he will be off balance, Ill pulverize, Ill pulverize the little fucker. Oh shit, were recording hey (laughs) Injury to staff member Shortly after, E threw a length of aluminium through the storeroom window (where hed previously broken the glass panels) which was above his line of sight. It struck a YJO on the inside of his right arm, causing it to bleed. Handicam footage captures the following conversation between the YJO staff: Who the fuck did that? E, he threw this fucken steel thing out and fucken got me on the arm. He tried to climb through the window and I poked him back through. Go, go grab the fucken gas and fucken gas them through fucken, get (the A/GM) to gas them through here. Weve got to wait for approval first.... It will make my job easier, if you show Ken hell just go yep approval bang, go, fucken get him out. The YJO told investigators that the injury was minor and that he had not shown it to the Commissioner. He stated that once the incident was over he went to the Royal Darwin Hospital for treatment. This was on instruction of the GM. He made a report to Police but did not pursue any charges against E. The use of CS gas Correctional Services has confirmed that the use of CS gas was not initially the preferred method in which to resolve the situation. The original plan was for the doghandler and dog to enter the BMU via the basketball court door. However, when the dog-handler tried to enter the area he found he could not. The A/GM said that his original understanding was that the door had been barricaded by the young persons and as such they were unable to enter the area via that door. It was later established that the door handle had being broken off by E.

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