26 Jun 2018
Herald Sun, Melbourne
By Matt Johnston And David Hurley
Four injured by inmates STAFF at the trouble-plagued youth justice centre in Malmsbury were taken to hospital yesterday after trying to break up a wild brawl between inmates.
Two staff were taken to Bendigo hospital in a stable condition, and paramedics treated two more at the centre after a fight broke out shortly after 9.30am. It is understood the inmates were armed.
Ambulance Victoria said paramedics were sent to the youth justice centre at 9.47am.
The Herald Sun was told staff were grateful the specialist Security and Emergency Services Group and Safety and Emergency Response Team responded when violence broke out.
One source said the youth justice system had changed, and the "kids are not the same as they were."
"It's a much more violent, gang-driven world," the source said.
Victoria Police spokeswoman Natalie Butler said Kyneton police had launched an investigation.
"Police have been told a fight occurred between three males at the centre on Mollison St just after 9.30am," she said.
"A number of staff members intervened and received minor injuries."
Opposition families and children spokeswoman Georgie Crozier said the incident was "a major security issue and another example of how Daniel Andrews has lost control of violent youth offenders and gangs."
"If Daniel Andrews can't keep prison staff safe, it's no wonder he can't keep Victorians safe," she said.
Community and Public Sector Union Victoria spokesman Julian Kennelly said "our thoughts like all of their colleagues are with the injured workers."
"We applaud the effort and bravery of staff," he said.
Mr Kennelly cautioned against laying political blame, saying "support for youth justice workers is paramount, not political bickering."
Since September 2016, the Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre has experienced several breakouts and riots.
In January last year, a manhunt followed a breakout by 15 young prisoners.
Last month, a group of teen prisoners attacked vulnerable youths during a community football match at the jail. A Department of Justice and Regulation spokeswoman said:
"Violent behaviour or assaults by young people in custody is absolutely unacceptable, and the safety of our staff, young people and the community is of utmost importance."
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