Wandoo Reintegration Facility is a minimum-security prison for young men aged 18 – 28 years. It is located in the suburb of Murdoch, 19 km from the city centre and has the capacity to hold 77 prisoners. The site previously accommodated juvenile offenders, predominantly on remand. Wandoo was established as part of the 2008 Liberal Party election promise to open a facility for male young adult offenders.
Wandoo’s objective is to focus on reducing reoffending and the seriousness of reoffending. Specifically, it intends to provide a holistic approach to rehabilitation, to deliver an innovative service delivery model, and to offer opportunities for education, training, employment, preparation for release, throughcare support, post release support, and integrated programs and services.
The private operator Serco was awarded the Wandoo contract in November 2011, but due to the delayed transfer of juveniles out of the facility, Serco did not commence operations until November 2012. Serco’s contract was initially for a five year period (until November 2017), with a possible extension.
Our first inspection of Wandoo in May 2014 found that the centre was innovative and functioning well. Serco used the opportunity to train and engage its initial cohort of young men to help convert the run-down juvenile facility into a pleasant, therapeutic environment. We found strong, positive staff and residents relations that contributed to effective dynamic security and improved rehabilitation outcomes. However, we were disappointed that the facility was severely under-utilised and only half full.
Since then, Wandoo has experienced a number of issues that have impacted on the facility’s operations. In August 2015, four residents escaped from Wandoo and committed crimes while at large. All four were eventually recaptured. As a result of the escape, the Department tightened controls on the facility, restricted the night time regime, and reduced resident access to external activities. Residents who received approval to participate in external activities are also now monitored by a GPS ankle bracelet.