Local management has made some efforts to improve the infrastructure at Roebourne. But the fact remains that most of the infrastructure at Roebourne Regional Prison remains poor. While work had been done through some painting and re-flooring of cells and restructuring bunk beds, we found that the prison is ageing. Significant expenditure is required to upgrade, expand and improve the infrastructure if the Department wishes to prolong the prison’s lifespan.
We were pleased that Roebourne had gone back to fully accommodating women prisoners. It has always been far preferable that women from the local area (predominantly Aboriginal women) be held close to home and in-country. The employment of a Women’s Support Officer was positive. Also encouraging was the cautious and appropriate introduction of mixed education and recreational services.
The new $14 million Roebourne Work Camp located outside the main fence of the secure prison had done some excellent work. However, the facility was built to house 30 male prisoners nearing release, but was only holding on average between 10-15 prisoners.
We saw a marked improvement in the education services. Steps had been taken to introduce a richer program of vocational training options. The appointment of several new and experienced vocational support officers greatly assisted this progress. A wider range of short training courses were also on offer in a number of practical areas.