• Jason has spent over 300 days in isolation and his mother continues to fight for his freedom. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
The 18-year-old Maori man, who allegedly has been locked in isolation for more than 300 days, has applied for a transfer to an adult’s prison.
By
Rangi Hirini

21 Mar 2018 - 10:10 AM  UPDATED 21 Mar 2018 - 10:11 AM

Amnesty International is calling on the West Australian government to close the “punishment unit” at Banksia Hill Detention Centre.

The not for profit organisation is also calling on the state government to answer questions about the youth justice system in Western Australia.

“What does it say about the harm being done in this unit that a teenager would rather be locked up in a harsh adult prison than suffer another day in Banksia Hill?” said Rodney Dillon, Indigenous Rights Advisor at Amnesty International Australia.

An 18-year old Maori man, who goes by the name of Jason alleges he has been locked up in isolation for more than 300 days.

A claim the West Australian government has vigorously denied.

An independent investigation is underway into the teenager’s allegations of excessive use of force, limited access to a psychologist, and being only allowed his daily exercise within a cage.

Amnesty claims the teenager’s application to move to an adult’s prison has been delayed by a fortnight.

Kylee, Jason’s mother, said she feels “helpless” and wants her son’s “nightmare” to end.

“I'm anxious about the aftermath of what Banksia Hill has caused. When he's finally released, I'm afraid they will have done so much damage I will never get my son back," she said.

"They've absolutely destroyed any remnants of what my boy was, even a year ago. I'm afraid that loving, goofy, generous son, who would give you his last dollar and the shirt off his back, will no longer be there. That's not rehabilitation.”

Banksia Hill Detention Centre is Western Australia’s only youth detention centre.

WA has the country’s highest rate of overrepresentation of Indigenous children in detention, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children 44 times more likely to be locked up than non-Indigenous children.

 

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