Broome regional prison is not fit for purpose and is in a state of disrepair. It is old, crowded, and requires significant investment to bring it up to a humane standard. Part of this neglect was due to 15 years of uncertainty. Over the last 15 years plans were first made to close Broome, then to build a new prison in Broome, before finally deciding to keep the old prison open.
A prison is needed in Broome to service the courts, as well as to house prisoners in transit or using medical services in the town. But the conditions in the current prison are indecent and inhumane. If the current prison remains open it will require a significant amount of capital to upgrade.
Half of the prisoners at Broome were from the Shire of Wyndham and East Kimberley. The process of flying these prisoners over 1,000km to Broome is expensive. It is also difficult for prisoners returning home after their release from Broome. The Department of Corrective Services (the Department) currently has no plans to better manage prisoners from the East Kimberley who are remanded or serving fines.