THE WANDOO CONTRACT
- Serco performs well against its Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) but some are not relevant to key objectives or challenging enough. KPIs need to be reviewed and linked to outcomes, similar to those for the new Melaleuca Remand and Reintegration Facility for women, which are recidivism-based.
- Overall the contract is well-managed and represents good practice. Serco and the contract management team at the Department of Corrective Services have a good working relationship, however decisions made elsewhere in the Department can have a negative effect on Wandoo’s operations. The Department should allow contractors to manage their own risk and to present innovative solutions to meet intended outcomes.
- The Department’s monitoring team has shifted and expanded focus since Wandoo opened. Instead of working in partnership with Serco to assess risks and improve processes, the monitors now focus almost entirely on compliance.
- The Department still does not have a good understanding of the total costs and benefits of the Wandoo contract and therefore whether it is achieving value for money. Despite numerous requests and recommendations from our office to provide costings for its private contracts, the Department has been unable to deliver.
RESIDENT LIFE AT WANDOO
- The responsible resident philosophy begins the moment that the resident arrives at Wandoo, and is coherent and integrated into day to day operations.
- Religious services are well regarded by residents and Wandoo. However, some religious programs and services cannot run because it has taken the Department too long to provide security clearances for the religious visitors. This should be reviewed.
- Recreation was rated by residents as one of the best thing about Wandoo. It promoted active interest in health, fitness and recreation. However, following an escape in August 2015, the Department imposed evening restrictions, meaning that at night, instead of participating in healthy exercise, residents were sitting around in units doing nothing. Residents should be permitted to use the gym at night, particularly now that most residents wear GPS monitoring bracelets.
- Residents are well supported to maintain contact with family and friends at Wandoo, with access to visits, mail, telephone, Skype, and email. There are also a number of programs and services available to help fathers build relationships with their children.
- The two main support groups for residents – the peer support group and the resident information and activities council – were well established and kept residents engaged and supported in the Wandoo community.
- The Family Liaison Officer supported a range of culturally appropriate activities to keep Aboriginal men engaged and to improve cultural awareness among other residents and staff. While this is an excellent service, there are not enough alternative options for Aboriginal residents who need counselling for family and cultural issues.
CUSTODY, SAFETY AND SECURITY
- After the escape in August 2015, the Department imposed an early 6:00pm unit lockdown regime at Wandoo. While necessary immediately after the escape, one year later the Department’s restrictions were still in place. Given the risk profile and the philosophy of the facility, it is now time for the restrictions to be lifted. This is especially given no other minimum security facility faces the same restrictions.
- Serco did a good job of revitalising the run-down, graffiti strewn facility. However, since it was originally a juvenile remand facility, the cell and bed sizes are too small for adult, sentenced males. Double-bunking the current cells should be ruled out of any future plans to increase capacity at Wandoo.
- Residents who are approved to participate in external activities are monitored by a GPS ankle bracelet. In theory, the GPS monitors should reduce the risk of escape and allow for more residents to participate in external activities. This should be taken into account in allowing Wandoo to recommence its full external activity programs.
- Wandoo has adopted a range of innovative and successful management strategies that keep the facility calm and safe.
- Wandoo deals with resident conflict promptly and effectively, using voluntary restorative justice sessions.
- The security search procedures for visitors are thorough, but non-intrusive. Staff are polite and professional.
- Residents take responsibility their own personal health needs. They are supported by the health care team, who work with the residents to ensure that they successfully reintegrate into the community.
- Staff run the centre professionally and efficiently. The dedicated, proactive, and flexible nature of the staff that work in the health centre has won them a number of awards for outstanding service.
- The health centre drives an active health promotion strategy.
- General practitioner, dental, and mental health services are meeting demand at Wandoo.
REHABILITATION AND REINTEGRATION
- Wandoo’s offender management model is the best in the state, and should be used as a benchmark for other state facilities.
- Its assessment and case management processes are the most extensive we have examined in WA. As well as the Department’s standard suite of assessments and management plans, Wandoo incorporates its own reintegration plan.
- Wandoo provides a high level of integrated education, training, and employment, and is performing better in this area than when we inspected in 2014. However there is a need for more on-site training and development opportunities for residents who are not eligible for external training.
- Mission Australia provides re-entry services (on a subcontract) that drive Wandoo’s aspiration to reduce reoffending. Its team is embedded at Wandoo, however ex-residents can leverage Mission Australia resources in the community for their benefit.
- Wandoo provides a thorough rehabilitation program that prepares residents for release into the community and provides initial support. However, it is difficult to determine what quantifiable impact it is having on reducing reoffending. While Wandoo is meeting its KPIs to provide employment or training placement for residents upon release, the longer-term impacts have not been accurately measured.
STAFFING AND CULTURE
- Wandoo has a clear philosophy which is followed by staff.
- Staff and residents get along very well at Wandoo. This pro-social philosophy promotes resident engagement, helps staff to know what is happening around the facility and encourages residents to live by the Wandoo rules.
- Since our last inspection, the relationship between staff and management had been eroded. This was driven by the drawn out enterprise agreement negotiations, the escape, the post-escape security restrictions, and changes to the rosters. Wandoo management was aware that staff morale was low, and had started to focus on improving communication with staff to rebuild the relationship.