West Coast Eagles legend Ben Cousins has been called in to motivate Banksia Hill detainees as part of a “rehabilitative” Aussie rules game against a Perth high school. Amid a crisis in the State’s youth prison system, the Brownlow medallist — and now Channel Seven personality — visited the Banskiaroos team to offer support to the young detainees. The visit comes as the youth justice system finds itself in the spotlight after 16-year-old Cleveland Dodd took his life inside his Unit 18 cell at Perth’s Casuarina Prison and a riot at Banksia Hill caused $30 million damage earlier this year. “I sort of know what it’s like to be in their shoes, I found myself in similar tough situations and I know what it’s like,” Cousins said. “Hopefully some good can come from my experiences, giving the message that you can turn your life around.” Cousins was seen giving tips to the “talented” Banskiaroos, congratulating one young player on a great tackle and helping carry an injured player off the field. “I know the value of sport and connecting back into the community and it’s important they’re reminded there are people in the community that want to see them leading a positive and productive life,” the former Eagles number nine said. “There are some talented kids here and I’ve been really impressed. It’s great to see them working together to accomplish something.” Acting Deputy Superintendent Operations Colin Muijs said bringing people like Cousins into the centre was an important step in supporting detainees. “Team sports not only enhance confidence, resilience and self-esteem, they promote social connectedness. Having Ben Cousins offer his time to attend this match really resonated with Banksia Hill’s young people,” Mr Muijs said. Cousins’ father, Bryan, has been working with the Stephen Michael Foundation — which supports at-risk youth in WA — and is understood to have offered to bring his son to help with weekly recreational sessions at Banksia Hill. Darling Range Sports College’s AFL squad is the second team to visit the detention centre this year. A riot by several detainees at Banksia Hill caused $30 million worth of damage in May and saw juveniles break free from their cells and scale the roof of the centre before an intense standoff with armed guards. A damming Federal royal commission recommended Banskia Hill must stop imposing solitary confinement on inmates with a disability under a new “non-punitive, non adversarial” in September. Causarina Prion’s Unit 18 — which houses juvenile detainees — has also been caught up in a whirlwind of issues since 16-year-old Cleveland’s suicide in his cell. This resulted in the sacking of Commissioner Mike Reynolds from the prison. On November 10 — the same day a damning report was released revealing a litany of failure by guards that led to the death of Cleveland — a 17-year-old detainee was transferred to hospital after he was found with fabric wrapped around his neck at Unit 18.