This 2011 inspection of Bandyup found that while there were some encouraging findings, progress had stalled in many key areas. Positive findings included:

• the commissioning of the new ‘village’ which included an increase in capacity for women with resident children;

• the increased availability of offender treatment programs;

• the orientation unit and the involvement of peer support prisoners in a revised orientation process;

• the effectiveness of the Transitional Manager position; and

• the way in which staff had coped with unprecedented population levels, with flagging facilities and equipment, and with little increase in resources.

However the inspection also found that the Department’s ‘eye had been taken off the ball’ in terms of meeting the needs of women and in particular, Aboriginal women, as well as the implementation of the Department’s Women’s Way Forward policy document. Notable findings include:

• that there have been up to 90 women sleeping on floors at any one time, in cells designed for one;

• that women were unable to demonstrate that they had addressed their offending behaviour, placing parole applications and prospects of successful rehabilitation at risk;

• that remandees and self-representing appellants were unable to undertake legal research or develop their own defences;

• that no high intensity violent offending or sex offender treatment programs were available to those women who were assessed as requiring them;

• that the lack of Department-sponsored transport to the prison thwarted women’s attempts to build and maintain positive relationships with their children, family, and community;

• the narrow definition of family responsibility precluded day stays with grandchildren or other significant children; and

• the family visits centre and health centre were out-dated and no longer fit for purpose.

Page last updated: January 20, 2014
73: Report of an Announced Inspection of Bandyup Women’s Prison