Image of Barista Sistas, a Barista training program at Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison

Background

Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison is Western Australia’s first Alcohol and Other Drugs rehabilitation prison for females. The Department of Justice partnered with Cyrenian House to deliver alcohol and drug therapy in a modified therapeutic community to female residents inside a medium-security prison. Before the prison was opened as a rehabilitation facility it was a reintegration facility …

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Image of a yarning circle in the grounds of Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison

Key findings

Wandoo could change lives for the better Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison (Wandoo) opened its doors to the first residents in July 2018. The prison offers female offenders a unique opportunity to heal from previous trauma and address the root causes of their substance use and offending. Staff and residents spoke highly of the program and said …

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Image of inside the art room at Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison

Conclusion

Wandoo offers women an opportunity to break the cycle of substance use and offending. It is an intense therapeutic environment and appears to be changing lives for the better. But the Department faces challenges to ensure the integrity of the program is maintained, and staff wellbeing is improved. Some of this work is underway. In …

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Image of women in yoga class at Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison

Recommendations

Recommendation 1 All staff should complete training in therapeutic communities. Recommendation 2 Women complete the CCC before transferring to Wandoo. Recommendation 3 Evaluate the alcohol and other drugs program at Wandoo. Recommendation 4 Improve communications and relations across management and with staff. Recommendation 5 Increase Aboriginal staffing at Wandoo Recommendation 6 offer culturally specific training, …

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