- Pardelup had continued to develop since the 2012 inspection, with service delivery focused on training, employment, reparation and re-entry. The relaxed, open living environment was well suited to end-of-sentence preparation for reintegration into society. The prison had made improvements to infrastructure, had maintained tight budget control, and had continued the competent operation of traditional prison industries. At Pardelup, everyone had meaningful employment.
- Successive Superintendents had built on the strengths and successes of their predecessors, delivering stable management, entrepreneurial vision, and a non-sexist working environment. The inspection found respectful interaction between management, custodial officers, vocational support officers and prisoners. Staff satisfaction was high, evidenced by extremely low personal leave and workers’ compensation applications. Prisoners and staff alike expressed a preference for Pardelup over any other Western Australian prison.
- A feature of the prison was its vibrant agricultural enterprises. Pardelup delivered market garden and orchard produce across the custodial estate, and livestock husbandry earned significant profit. As an adjunct to the 2015 inspection, an independent assessment of the Pardelup agribusinesses found them on par with regional best practice, but suffering from an inability to reinvest in agricultural machinery, equipment and fixed assets.
- Aboriginal prisoners continued to be under-represented at Pardelup, and rarely progressed to Walpole, but the Noongar presence at the prison had grown since 2012.Those interviewed felt: safe, valued the education, training and rehabilitation services provided, and said they would recommend Pardelup to the wider Noongar community.
- The Pardelup Education Centre had adapted schedules and courses to best fit the learning needs of prisoners with the demands of a prison running with full employment.
- The recent appointment of a Recreation Officer had seen a revitalisation of recreational activities, particularly team sports off-site. Procedural and relational security processes were appropriate for a remote minimum-security prison.
- The health centre was keeping pace with the regular and emergency healthcare needs of semi-skilled prisoners working in medium-risk industries. The small through-care team had been able to comply with increasingly detailed assessment processes, and continued to provide comprehensive pre-release packages for prisoners. However, the loss of the nurse practitioner and removal of the employment coordinator positions had eroded capacity for health and through-care service delivery.
- Pardelup had suffered from decisions made at head office, particularly where a culture of risk avoidance had restricted prisoner access to community work programs and paid employment off-site. Despite that, Pardelup enjoyed excellent community relations with the residents of Mount Barker and Walpole, earned by years of reparative project work around those towns. Aware that occupancy at Walpole had fallen during 2015, community members there urged the Department to keep the work camp active and full.
- In summary, the Pardelup inspection in 2015 found a genuinely professional working environment actively implementing the Department’s mission of: security of prisoners, safety of staff, safety of offenders, and rehabilitation.
Page last updated: June 16, 2016