• There was some instability in the senior management team, and satisfaction in the leadership team had declined. Whereas previously we have commented on the ongoing stability of the management team, in 2021 we found key positions in the team not substantively filled.
  • We were concerned with physical security, that the fence surrounding Boronia, whilst appropriately unobtrusive, did not present much deterrent for intruders getting into Boronia.
  • The reception area had undergone some refurbishment in response to recommendations we have made following previous inspections. The open-plan reception area had been enclosed and was now a discrete and dedicated reception space. Although, adequate staffing in reception is still lacking.
  • The cell sharing risk assessments were not being routinely completed. We noted this in our 2018 inspection too. This is a checklist that staff need to complete which assess the suitability of a resident to share a cell. Only 50 per cent of residents had been assessed. This is an essential tool for keeping residents safe it needs to be completed for each resident required to share a cell.
  • Boronia manages vulnerable residents appropriately and models a trauma-informed approach. But there were no specific programs to address abuse and trauma.
  • Boronia is 17 years old and showing its age. We observed a level of wear and tear that we have not seen before. This included cracks in internal walls, chunks of plaster missing, paint peeling off walls. We were concerned about the level of disrepair and neglect. We thought that, in some instances, this actually presented safety issues for the women and possibility their resident children.
  • We found a strong health services’ team in place. Residents satisfaction with health had increased, and processes were working well.
  • But there were some gaps in the health service at Boronia. Filling these gaps would transform the health service from good to outstanding. This depends on investing additional resources into the health team. Specifically, these gaps were in the area of health promotion and Aboriginal health.
  • While we found that Boronia did provide a culturally safe place for Aboriginal residents, we thought elements could be strengthened, in particular the provision of specific programs to engage Aboriginal women.
  • Another significant gap was the lack of specific life skills support for residents. Some residents found it easy to manage self-care arrangement at Boronia, while others struggled and could do with more support.
  • Boronia’s resident child policy gives incarcerated mothers the opportunity to have their child reside with them. The resident child program is managed by the Manager, Family and community services, who was dedicated and compassionate.
  • We thought that opportunities for mums with older, teenaged children were lacking. And there were gaps in the provision of diverse parenting and related support programs.
  • Engagement in tertiary studies was severely hindered by lack of access to essential internet-based resources. As a result, the number of residents enrolled in tertiary education had declined from 15 in 2018 to two in 2021. The issue of access to online services and information is broader than this, however. The Department has an obligation to ensure that persons in its care have opportunities to develop digital literacy skills.
  • The Transitional Manager (TM) provided a good service and residents thought she did a good job. Contracted services were also well engaged, but there were some gaps in re-entry services. These services concentrated on the Perth Metropolitan area, and we learnt that there weren’t always regional service providers to which residents could be referred if they were returning to regional communities.  Further, the lack of accommodation options for women getting out was a big concern.
Page last updated: February 2, 2022
139: Inspection of Boronia Pre-release Centre for Women