21 March 2018
Herald Sun, Melbourne
By Mark Buttler and James Dowling
A VIOLENT teen prisoner who sexually assaulted an officer and bashed another won't be sent to an adult jail.
The boy - who cannot be named for legal reasons - will instead remain in juvenile detention and is back in the youth jail where he molested his original victim.
Staff are concerned they are not being protected from the most dangerous of the juvenile justice system's inmates.
There is confusion about why the boy was allowed to stay in the juvenile system while others have been sent to adult prisons for misconduct.
Earlier this year the teen sexually assaulted a worker at the Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre in central Victoria. This led to his transfer to Parkville - where he stands accused of a nasty one-punch attack on an officer.
Another inmate brandishing a hammer was set to join the violence when staff intervened. There are fears the attack was part of a plot to escape the centre. The teen was moved back to Malmsbury, where he was an instigator of a wild riot in which inmates escaped and property was destroyed early last year.
He committed a carjacking and other offences in its immediate aftermath, boasting on social media of his exploits while on the run.
"He's got career criminal written all over him," a source said.
The Youth Parole Board is responsible for deciding whether a juvenile inmate can be transferred to an adult jail.
Families and Children Minister Jenny Mikakos said the Government had introduced "tougher consequences" for those who offend in custody.
"The safety of our staff is our highest priority. Violent behaviour against staff is not tolerated and is referred to police," Ms Mikakos said.
Opposition families and children spokeswoman Georgie Crozier said staff and other inmates should be protected.
"Someone has to explain on what grounds this repeat violent offender has been allowed to stay in youth jail," she said.
"You do have to wonder what this person has to actually do to be sent to adult jail."
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