Founded in 1927, Pardelup Prison Farm suffered a temporary downgrade in 2002 to work camp status. It was reinstated in 2012 as a prison farm for 84 prisoners, and had taken on responsibility for the Walpole Work Camp, with a further capacity of 12.
The first full inspection of Pardelup in 2012 had found a focused management team following a comprehensive strategic vision. Prisoners had access to real employment and training. Rehabilitation was built on respectful, pro-social relationships between staff and prisoners. Agricultural industries, including animal husbandry, market gardening and orchard production, had provided fruit, vegetables and meat across the custodial estate. Reparative work in the towns of Mt Barker and Walpole had built strong community relations.
The Inspector had expressed concern in 2012 that too few Aboriginal prisoners had progressed to Pardelup, despite the employment and training opportunities it could provide. He had also recommended that the Department of Corrective Services progress strategic planning for food production and consumption across the estate, and that Pardelup balance farm output with provision of education, training and re-entry service provision.
Prior to the inspection in 2015, the Office consequently advised the Department of five lines of enquiry or themes: the extent to which Aboriginal prisoners had been attracted to the prison; capacity to provide full employment and a structured day; access for prisoners to education and medical services; provision of comprehensive re-entry preparation; and the state of the farm’s agricultural industries.