Cobham Juvenile Justice Centre worker in hospital after alleged assault

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In August, two inmates climbed onto the roof of the Cobham centre and remained there for nine hours. Photo: Channel SevenA worker at Cobham Juvenile Justice Centre in Sydney’s west was taken to hospital after she was allegedly assaulted by three boys at the centre on Sunday afternoon.
Nanjing Night Net

A witness claimed the woman, a youth worker, was bashed and kicked on the head before she crawled into a toilet and locked the door behind her, radio station 2GB reported.

The centre, in St Marys, caters for boys 15 years and older.

A NSW Police spokeswoman said that police were called to reports of an assault at a correctional centre in St Marys just before 12.30pm on Sunday.

“Police were told several inmates had assaulted a number of staff members before damaging property,” the spokeswoman said.

“The inmates were restrained by staff, and several staff members were treated at the scene for minor injuries and taken to Nepean Hospital.”

Police from the St Marys Local Area Command are investigating. No charges have been laid.

In a statement on Sunday evening, a Juvenile Justice spokesperson confirmed there had been an incident at the centre.

“There was an incident at Cobham Juvenile Justice Centre [on Sunday afternoon] involving three detainees assaulting a staff member,” the statement said.

“Juvenile Justice staff intervened and de-escalated the situation.

“Police are investigating the incident and the three detainees are likely to be charged.

“Juvenile Justice is offering every assistance to the youth worker, who has been taken to hospital for treatment for her injuries.”

Public Service Association union representative Julie Bond told 2GB the youth worker remained in hospital on Sunday night with the centre’s manager by her side.

Ms Bond said detainees “charged” at the worker and left her with facial injuries.

“What I understand is that the officer was assisting the detainees who had come back from rec [recreation] leave,” she said.

“There was an incident where they actually charged this female officer. Other staff were on the scene very, very quickly, and obviously intervened, but unfortunately an officer has still been injured.”

Ms Bond said the union would examine if training measures and safety precautions needed to be updated following the incident.

The centre has attracted widespread media attention in recent months.

In August, two inmates climbed onto the roof and remained there for nine hours. That matter was also referred to police.

In June, the Chisholm wing of the centre was closed after only one year following legal complaints about the extensive isolation of as many as 12 boys in the wing.

Despite the closure of Chisholm, authorities at NSW juvenile correctional centres continue to isolate children, imposing conditions that lawyers say amount to solitary confinement.

NSW Corrections Minister David Elliott announced on Thursday that the use of confinement “for lengthy periods of time in rooms” would be reviewed after a Fairfax Media investigation revealed teenage boys were being locked up alone for up to 23 hours a day.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.