In an attempt to bring attention to violent attacks against officers staff at the Riverina Juvenile Justice Centre stopped working on Sunday.
Officers from three other locations joined in the action, under the Work Health and Safety Act, following two violent attacks on officers.
An officer was assaulted at the Frank Baxter Centre Friday, while at Cobham on Saturday an officer suffered a broken nose, eye socket and concussion after being punched eight times by an offender.
At the Riverina Juvenile Justice Centre in 2019, the PSA stated there's been at least three assaults, issues of contraband and incidents of detainees on the roof.
In 2018, a staff member was stabbed in the neck with a broken tennis table bat, head-butted and kicked in the chest and leg.
In a separate incident a detainee threatened to "cut ya f---ing tongue out and ram it down ya throat".
Staff have also been threatened with weapons, spat upon and had faeces thrown at them
Troy Wright, acting general secretary of the Public Service Association, said workers were hugely frustrated by the state government's failure to address staff and detainee safety.
"Not a day goes by when there isn't some kind of violent incident across the state in these juvenile justice centres," he said.
"For two-and-a-half years we have been calling for therapeutic units within the centres, to not only help the officers manage high-risk offenders, but to improve rehabilitation opportunities.
"Instead the department moves high-risk offenders around the state. Every juvenile justice officer knows that it could be them on the end of a punch, spat on or attacked."
Mr Wright said they have raised this issue repeatedly.
"In April we wrote to Michael Coutts-Trotter, calling for the implementation of therapeutic units, but he never replied," he said.
"Why is it the only time safety concerns from officers are heard when they're forced to take action?
"Our members are incredibly frustrated by the failure to introduce measures and resources that recognise what is required to safely manage high-risk detainees."
Mr Wright said Juvenile Justice workers and the PSA have long been warning that rising violence in the centres is fuelled by a lack of investment in training and proper rehabilitation facilities for offenders.
"Our members want to help these kids, they want to break the cycle," he said.
The Department of Justice challenged the move in the Industrial Relations Commission on Sunday and staff were ultimately ordered back to work, but three commitments were made.
- Communication is to be sent to all Centres within the next 24 hours by the Department that 18-year-old detainees who assault staff or a detainee will see Juvenile Justice looking into taking reasonable steps in transferring them to Corrective Services.
- Juvenile Justice will arrange a meeting with DC delegates as soon as possible with the Secretary for FACS and Justice.
- The PSA and Juvenile Justice to meet and discuss amendments to the Detention Centre Act.
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