Image of Melaleuca's oval


In 2014, women’s imprisonment in Western Australia was in crisis. That year we inspected Bandyup Women’s Prison for the fifth time, and found that the prison had borne the brunt of that crisis. Bandyup had experienced overcrowding, indifference, and structural inequality for years. We do not suggest that the sidelining of women’s needs was intentional. …

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Image of Tranquility Gardens adjacent to Melaleuca's oval


While Melaleuca had faced some very significant issues in its early operation, the prison had started to improve. Major concerns remained however, and because of this we made 25 recommendations. For comparison, over the last three years the average number of recommendations per inspection has only been 15. To some extent the number of issues …

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Image of the children's play area, in the visits hall at Melaleuca

Key Findings

We concluded that the price of the Melaleuca contract was fundamentally too low to meet its requirements. Most areas of operation were subject to restricted resources and budget limitations. This is a poor outcome for the Department of Justice, Sodexo, and the women imprisoned there. We found that the Department was actively managing the main …

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Image of a sign about the "New Women's Remand and Reintegration Facility" outside Melaleuca


Recommendation 1:   Any future revision of the contract should simplify and focus on delivery of outcomes, rather than prescribing how outcomes are achieved Recommendation 2:   Sodexo should strengthen its subcontractor oversight processes to ensure optimal service delivery Recommendation 3:   The Department and Sodexo should work together to address infrastructure shortfalls at Melaleuca Recommendation 4:   Increase …

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