9 out of 10 children incarcerated have Severe Neurodevelopmental Impairment: WA Study

WA study: 9 out of 10 children Incarcerated have severe neurodevelopmental impairment...

9 out of 10 children incarcerated have
severe neurodevelopmental Impairment

Research Findings – Telethon Kids Institute study

February 2018


A Telethon Kids research team led by UWA Professor Carol Bower and Clinical Associate Professor Raewyn Mutch spent two years working with more than 100 young people aged between 10-17 years who were incarcerated in Western Australia’s only youth detention facility, Banksia Hill Detention Centre.

The findings of the Telethon Kids Institute study show that:

“…nine out of ten youth examined at Banksia Hill have some form of
neuro-disability, most of which had gone undiagnosed,
despite multiple contacts with government and other agencies”


89% had at least one form of severe neurodevelopmental impairment, while 36% were found to have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

Most of the impairment had been left undiagnosed.


Commenting on this study into cognitive ability of young people in detention in Australia, WA Commissioner for Children and Young People Colin Pettit said:

“”We need to better support these young people with early intervention, family support and appropriate services to help them before they reach the justice system.”

DDWA endorses the comments of the Mr Pettit, who has previously called for better rehabilitation of children at Banksia Hill Detention Centre.

To read the findings of this study:

Link to online article from watoday.com.au:

Plain Text version of article: