Image of the Gatehouse at West Kimberley Regional Prison


West Kimberley Regional Prison (WKRP) opened in November 2012 as the main custodial facility for the Kimberley region. Its operating philosophy was centred on five principles designed to promote and facilitate Aboriginal wellness, including harmony between physical, emotional, spiritual and cultural components of the individual and the community. WKRP’s unique infrastructure reflected those principles. The …

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Image of the outside of Unit 2 cottage at West Kimberley Regional Prison


We have always strongly supported and advocated for the original design and operating philosophy at WKRP, and we had been concerned that the philosophy had eroded with increased prisoner crowding. In 2020 we were encouraged by what we were told by the prison leadership about steps being taken to return to that operating philosophy. The …

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Image of the kitchen in the self-care unit at West Kimberley Regional Prison

Key Findings

Despite the increased prisoner population, at the local level there was a strong desire to protect and restore the WKRP philosophy. The Superintendent and senior management team had clear priorities for the prison. They included increasing local (and particularly Aboriginal) staff recruitment and increasing constructive activity for prisoners. WKRP had responded positively to the developing …

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Image of trees around the Oval at West Kimberley Regional Prison


RECOMMENDATION 1 The Department and WKRP should take urgent steps to engage AVS and local community Elders to support Kimberley prisoners. RECOMMENDATION 2 Culturally appropriate training at WKRP should equip all staff to comprehensively support Kimberley Aboriginal prisoners. RECOMMENDATION 3 Improve the Orientation process to ensure that every prisoner receives a comprehensive orientation to the …

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