Bunbury is the largest regional prison in Western Australia and the fourth largest in the state after Acacia, Casuarina, and Hakea prisons. Bunbury is now larger than Casuarina Prison when it first opened but without the range of infrastructure, staff, or management that prison has attracted. Its physical footprint adds further resourcing and logistical complexities as it is split across three sites: the main medium security prison and two external self-contained minimum-security units.

We cautioned back in 2017 that Bunbury’s expansion might address prison overcrowding but risked overlooking the needs of different prisoner cohorts (OICS, 2017, p. iii). Several years later the cracks are beginning to show. Bunbury is home to several large and distinct groups, including First Nations people, longer term and older prisoners, and prisoners approaching release. Each group has specific needs in terms of programs, resources, environment, and amenities. But Bunbury does not have the capacity to respond to these groups as it would like.

Page last updated: June 17, 2024
153: Inspection of Bunbury Regional Prison