West Kimberley Regional Prison (WKRP) was opened in 2012 with an innovative Aboriginal focus informed by traditional Kimberley Aboriginal culture. Its 10-year anniversary was celebrated in November 2022. Despite the impressive design, structural damage across the site had been accelerated by inferior build quality and the harsh Kimberley climate. Structural and mechanical repairs in the Kimberley are complex and costly, and there is a real risk that critical maintenance issues could render parts of the prison unusable.

In 2023 WKRP was currently operating well above maximum capacity, a problem compounded by the fact that it struggled to attract, retain and accommodate its full complement of staff. Despite best efforts of management and custodial staff, many prisoners were not getting access to regular meaningful activities and effective cultural support.

Of our 14 Recommendations, the Department of Justice supported five in principle, and a further seven as current practice / project. We will monitor WKRP’s capacity to continue service delivery as population pressure builds across the custodial estate.

Page last updated: June 24, 2024
154: Inspection of West Kimberley Regional Prison