The Casuarina prison in Western Australia is the state’s main maximum security prison for adult men.
Yet this week the government decided to transfer Aboriginal children, some as young as 14 years old, from the Banksia Hill Detention Centre to the adult prison.
Director General Adam Tomison says this particular group of boys are responsible for destroying infrastructure, assaulting staff and harming themselves.
He says over half of the cells at Banksia Hill Detention Centre need to be repaired.
However, advocates and members of the court say there’s more to this story.
Head of Perth Children's Court, Judge Hylton Quail, has repeatedly slammed the juvenile detention centre for its “dehumanising conditions.”
"When you treat a damaged child like an animal, they will behave like an animal," says Judge Quail, “when you want to make a monster, this is how you do it."
Social Reinvestment WA co-chair and proud Whadjuk and Ballardong Nyungah woman, Glenda Kickett, says majority of children in detention have serious cognitive impairments and need specialised trauma-informed care.
"Our youth justice system is breaching the human rights of young people, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are the vast majority of those incarcerated," she says, “the state government has ignored the root causes of the problems - this must be our wake-up call to fix our system and provide the early intervention, diversion, and rehabilitation supports children need in the community.”
Shockingly this devastating news about the children came out during NAIDOC week.
However, little has been said about the children on mainstream news platforms.
Deputy Executive Officer at the Koorie Youth Council and proud Yamatji Badimaya woman, Banok Rind, says it’s hypocritical so many ‘allies’ have been silent about this issue.
“You want your reconciliation week cupcakes and NAIDOC week celebratory photos but wanna step back when it’s black kids being dehumanised & mistreated,” she says, “don’t preach about allyship if you’re not willing to truly see the systems that your convict forefathers created to dehumanise blackfullas in this country.”