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Young Offenders Trash Victoria's Barwon Prison

It's the latest youth riot in the state's corrections' system.

14/02/2017 10:51 AM AEDT | Updated 14/02/2017 2:48 PM AEDT
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Barwon Prison has been the site of a riot by young inmates.

Young offenders have trashed a section of Victoria's Barwon Prison in the latest riot to break out in the state's troubled youth detention system.

Victorian Corrections Commissioner Jan Shuard said the riot erupted at the prison's youth justice Grevillea unit about 6pm Monday.

Shuard said it was sparked by a fight between inmates that quickly escalated, with 16 young offenders then taking part in large-scale destruction at the facility.

"There was an altercation between a number of the young offenders," she told 3AW Radio.

"That quickly escalated and 16 of those youths barricaded themselves out in the exercise yard that adjoins the unit where they live."

She said the rioters had "done a fair bit of damage" to the yard and also to the visitors' centre, which they also managed to break into and destroy. It is reported that the young prisoners used rocks and fire extinguishers to trash the facility.

Shuard said a staff member at the prison had sustained a bad facial injury in the riot and was recovering in hospital on Tuesday.

She said a tactical response team ended the riot just before 10pm local time.

Shuard did not know if those involved in last night's riot were the same youngsters who trashed the Parkville youth detention centre in January.

That violent incident saw the police riot and dog squads called in after up to 20 detainees at Parkville tried to access another unit, sparking calls for a shake-up of the sector.

In the wake of Monday night's riot, the state opposition has called for Children's Minister Jenny Mikakos to be sacked.

"The fact that 16 dangerous youth offenders can run riot around the most secure prison in the state and injure a staff member proves that the problem has little to do with infrastructure and everything to do with attitude and the Andrews Government's soft-touch," Opposition Families and Children's spokesman Georgie Crozier is quoted as saying.


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