Warning for First Nations readers: this article contains the images and name of a person who has died. They have been published with permission of the family.

The family of an Indigenous boy, who died after self-harming while being detained in one of Perth’s most notorious youth detention facilities, has released a statement demanding answers.

The family says d Cleveland Dodd, 16, had “never, ever self-harmed” before self-harming early on the morning of October 12, while being held at Banksia Hill Juvenile Detention Centre Unit 18.

“Our beloved young one had never self-harmed in all his years, so what happened to him in his days unlawfully detained long hours in that horrible place known as Unit 18?,” the statement said.

“We want to know the truth about his every day in Unit 18. He should have been with his families which he loved dearly.”

While the unit is run by Banksia Hill, it’s actually housed about 20km away in Perth’s adult maximum security Casuarina Prison.

It’s used to house the “most challenging, complex and often dangerous juveniles,” according to Corrective Services Minister Paul Papalia.

Cleveland’s family say he had been “unlawfully locked down, day after day, inside Unit 18,” which “drove him to take his own life in desperation.”

“We as a First Nations People have been suffering from one generation to another, and we cannot stand by and watch this carnage on our children,” their statement, released on Friday, said.

“The coronial inquest into his death will take far too long to bring meaningful change, policy and law reform.

“We, his family and community, will not wait patiently in the wings while legal processes run their course.”

They’re urging the state government to act now to prevent another loss of life at Banksia Hill.

“Future commitments, platitudes and unfulfilled promises only inflict more pain,” Cleveland’s family said.

On Friday, it was also revealed the state’s Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) will be investigating a serious misconduct allegation levelled at a public officer in relation to Cleveland’s death.

The family’s lawyers, Levitt Robinson Solicitors, said they’re pleased to be acting on behalf of the family in the coronial inquest.

“So that evidence of the foreseeability of the harm which West Australian courts have already recognised will be caused to young people detained in Unit 18, located in Casuarina Prison, will be fully exposed,” the firm said in a statement.

Premier Roger Cook on Friday said he was “deeply saddened” by the boy’s death.

“These are difficult issues dealing with complex troubled young people and one of the key tragedies here is the social and economic circumstances that led to their incarceration in the first place,” Mr Cook said.

“The situation in Unit 18 is not where we want it to be … but it is a circumstance which has been handed to us.”

He added that his government is trying to close Unit 18, but can’t at the moment due to structural damage at Banksia Hill caused by a riot in May.

A report from WA’s Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services in June found Banksia Hill to be in “acute crisis.”

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