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‘It will never happen again’: Minister promises action after juvenile prison riot

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The Minister responsible for Juvenile Justice is demanding answers after a 21-hour riot at a facility on the Central Coast.

Police have charged 21 people – aged between 12 and 20 – over the stand-off at the Frank Baxter Juvenile Detention Centre at Kariong.

A group of inmates managed to steal keys off a guard before stealing power tools from a maintenance shed and hunting down sex offenders.

Seven people were injured, including an 18-year-old man who is fighting for life after being stabbed.

The minister responsible, Gareth Ward, tells Alan Jones he has ordered an immediate review into the incident.

“The public would rightly be absolutely outraged by this behaviour.

“I’m the new minister in this portfolio… so the best thing I can do is ask the questions the public is rightly asking, get to the bottom of it and implement change.

“I’ve appointed Leigh Shearer [former assistant police commissioner]… finding out how this can happen and making sure it will never happen again.”

Bloody riot: Inmates stabbed at juvenile detention centre on the Central Coast

Youth offenders can remain in a juvenile facility until they are 21 and a half but Mr Ward says anyone over 18 who was involved in the riot will be moved to an adult prison.

“We will throw the full force of the law at these young people involved.

“If they can’t behave, if they’re going to carry on like this and put lives at risk and spend taxpayer dollars on the damage they’ve done, they’re going to serve out the rest of their sentence in an adult jail.”

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