• Indigenous Australians are 13 times more likely to go to prison than non-Aboriginal people. (Supplied)
The Maori teenager requested the move after being held in an isolated unit at Banksia Hill Detention Centre for more than a year.
By
Rangi Hirini

25 May 2018 - 3:27 PM  UPDATED 25 May 2018 - 3:46 PM

The 18-year-old Maori teenager, known just as Jason, has had his application for transfer to an adult prison accepted, according to his mother. 

Amnesty International has been campaigning alongside Jason's family for the teenager to be removed from an isolated unit at Banskia Hill's youth detention centre after being held there for more than a year.

Kylee Douglas told NITV News her son's transfer has been something he desperately needed after Banksia refused to release him back into the general population from the Intensive Support Unit (ISU).  

“Jason rang me on Monday, his voice was the happiest I’ve heard it, in a long time,” she said. 

Ms Douglas said Jason’s application to be transferred from Banksia to an adult prison was approved by a judge, pending health reports.

“It speaks volumes about Banksia Hill's failings as a facility, when teenagers would prefer a harsh adult prison as opposed to Banksia Hill,” she said. 

Last Friday, Ms Douglas held a protest in Perth’s CBD area where supporters from local Aboriginal and Maori communities came together to call for Jason’s freedom. 

Rodney Dillion, Amnesty International’s Indigenous Right Advisor told NITV News the state government has failed Jason.  

“It’s a stain on WA’s youth justice system that Banksia has been so damaging for this teenager, he would rather be transferred to a harsh, maximum-security adult jail, than suffer another day in the punishment unit in this children’s prison.”

The West Australian government has previously defended the ISU.

“Some young people at Banksia Hill have complex needs or require targeted care, support and intervention, as a result of being at risk of harm to themselves or others, and may be accommodated in the facility’s Intensive Support Unit (ISU),”

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