The Northern Territory minister previously in charge of corrective services has admitted to systemic failures in the youth detention system and an "extreme" lack of staff training.
Gerry McCarthy was the Labor Government's corrections minister from 2009 to 2012 and gave evidence on the fifth day of Youth Detention Royal Commission hearings in Alice Springs.
Throughout the day he was presented with evidence of detention centre overcrowding, poor facilities and a large number of assaults by detainees on staff and vice versa.
"Do you accept that the existence of all of those issues leads to the conclusion that there were systemic failings in the system of youth detention in the Northern Territory?" asked senior counsel assisting Tony McAvoy.
"Yes," Mr McCarthy replied.
In his statement, Mr McCarthy said he was only notified of three instance of alleged excessive force by staff against detainees, two of which involved former inmate Dylan Voller.
He also admitted to never reviewing CCTV footage of an alleged assault on Voller, featured in the ABC's Four Corners program Australia's Shame, despite being notified in ministerial briefings.
Asked why, given the serious nature of the allegation, he said: "I have no answer for that, I didn't request it. I can understand your line of questioning and I am at fault".
During Friday's hearing Mr McCarthy was told of "an extreme lack of training" of staff. In 2012 only 19 per cent of youth justice officers had completed the required three-week induction program. Only 28 per cent had received any mental health or suicide intervention training.
"That was one of the areas I had great concerns about. There was a high turnover of staff, it was difficult to recruit. I'm also now informed by your statistics that it was a significant issue," he told the commission.
Mr McCarthy also struggled to explain why the Government did not build a new youth detention centre in Darwin in conjunction with the construction of an adult super prison that opened in 2014.
In 2010 a government-appointed expert panel recommended a 75-bed youth facility be built within the new adult complex amid serious concerns over safety and conditions in the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre.
He acknowledged that building the youth facility at the same time as the adult prison would have been the most cost-effective solution to the crisis, but said the decision to scrap it was made by cabinet.
No documentation as to how cabinet reached the decision could be provided to the commission.
He highlighted competing priorities during tough fiscal constraints in the wake of the global financial crisis. He said a new detention centre was entered into forward estimates, but failed to come to fruition when Labor lost government in 2012.
Earlier in the day an academic expert in youth detention told the commission that low prison quality almost certainly resulted in poor outcomes for prisoners.
"It has to be high quality so that the program uptake will be at the maximum level," said associate professor John Rynn from Griffiths University.
"Where there is low prison quality, then there will be no uptake on the program that are on offer. So that's education, behavioural change, those types of issues. And the research is unequivocal about that."
Professor Rynn said youth detention centres are institutionally racist and more work needed to be done to respect and facilitate traditional Aboriginal law and customs.
He said employing Aboriginal interpreters and more Aboriginal youth justice officers could go some way to achieving this, but acknowledged finding appropriate staff was a significant challenge.