We found Bunbury to be a good performer with opportunities for improvement and the prospect of facing some real challenges in the near future. The management team were up for this task, although the Inspector cautioned them to remain vigilant.

We were pleased with the levels of prisoner employment at the prison, and education services were working well. Satisfaction with health services had declined significantly, however, which was disappointing. There had been no increase in health staffing commensurate with the increase in the prisoner population, particularly in the PRU. Further, GP services had actually been reduced across the site, adding to the pressure the nurses were under.

Bunbury had been proactive in reducing the presence of drugs in the prison and had introduced a drug strategy to support this. Any prisoner who tested positive to illicit drug use was placed on an Individual Drug Management Regime, which included various sanctions such as non-contact visits and ineligibility for placement in earned supervision accommodation. Whilst we supported the initiative to try and control drug use amongst prisoners, we did have some concerns that the strategy was not well understood by both officers and prisoners, and the strategy was overly punitive.

Our other main concern was the PRU. Since the previous inspection in 2014, the capacity of the PRU had doubled. And reintegration services were struggling to keep up. The PRU was also under-resourced in terms of leadership.

Page last updated: April 10, 2018
115: Inspection of Bunbury Regional Prison