Karnet Prison Farm is located in the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale, approximately 80 km south of Perth. It is a minimum-security rated facility for male prisoners. Its primary role is to prepare prisoners for their release and re-entry into the community. This includes providing a range of clinical and voluntary programs, as well as education, training, and employment opportunities.
It is also a working farm, including an abattoir, dairy, poultry sheds, orchard, and extensive hydroponic industry. This not only provides employment and training opportunities for prisoners, but means that Karnet plays a key role in food supply for the Department of Corrective Services. Karnet produces fresh meat, milk, eggs, and various fruits and vegetables for use across the West Australian prison system.
The prison celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2013. The Karnet Rehabilitation Centre, as it was initially known, was originally designed to accommodate a small number of first time offenders and so-called ‘convicted inebriates’ (alcoholics). We first inspected Karnet in 2001, with subsequent inspections in 2004, 2007, 2010, and 2013. The 2013 inspection had concluded on a note of optimism, with largely positive findings. Despite ageing infrastructure, it was expected that Karnet would continue to build on its positive and unique place in the State’s prison system.
Karnet Prison Farm’s strategic vision is to be the ‘centre of excellence in pre-release management, by preparing prisoners for reintegration by way of employment, education and training, together with specialist re-entry support’. The 2016 inspection intended to examine progress in this regard, and to evaluate how Karnet was living up to its vision.