Safety of Magill centre in question

04 Oct 2006 archivemedia

Today’s fire at the Magill Secure Care Centre raises questions about the safety and supervision of residents at the facility, Shadow Correctional Services Minister Michelle Lensink said today.

“I think the first question Families and Communities Minister Jay Weatherill must ask is how a resident had such easy access to matches, a cigarette lighter or other material to start a fire inside a secure youth detention facility,” Ms Lensink said.

“The incident also raises other questions about the management of the Magill centre.

“In addition to the basic issue of residents getting access to the necessary equipment to start a fire, the question also needs to be asked as to why a 19 year old was being held at Magill.

“The Magill centre is intended as a secure facility for 10-18 year olds where they are also provided with educational and health services.

“The Opposition understands that in many cases older adolescents are housed at Cavan. It would seem that in this case Magill may not have been the most appropriate place for this man to be held.

“He not only put his own life at risk but also the lives of other Magill residents and the care workers who supervise and look after them.

“I would be very concerned if his ongoing presence at Magill was due to inadequate accommodation within the adult prison system.

“Residents at Magill are in the care and control of the state government and deserve to be in a safe environment. Today’s fire calls the safety of the Magill centre – for residents and staff – into question.”