Albany Regional Prison is a male maximum-security prison with a short term female ‘suite’. Albany’s focus included managing Aboriginal, foreign national and long term prisoners. Previous inspections praised Albany as one of the state’s best prisons.

The prison’s successful approach was known as the ‘Albany way’ with the four key ingredients being:

(i)  Shared positive values including a strong focus on decency and respect, and a pragmatic ‘can do’ attitude.

(ii) Strong management; an experienced team providing consistent coverage. The management team was known to and connected with staff and prisoners.

(iii) A pro-social culture. The prison had a strong track record for the safe management of prisoners who have proved difficult to manage elsewhere in the system.

(iv) The local community and representatives of government were actively interested in and supportive of the prison, and community based agencies provided positive, proactive and well-coordinated re-entry services.

At the time of this inspection, the state’s prison population was increasing and most prisons, including Albany, suffered from overcrowding. At the time of the last inspection in 2008 Albany was already crowded with a design capacity of 186 and a population of 220 prisoners. At the time of this inspection the prison was still overcrowded and was operating at 66 per cent above design capacity with a maximum population of 310 prisoners.

In 2011 DCS had built a new accommodation unit at Albany. The new unit, which was not being used at the time of the inspection, consisted of 64 double bunked cells. Use of the new unit on a single prisoner-occupancy basis, would have alleviated overcrowding in other units within the prison.

In that context areas of particular focus for this inspection included:

  • Demographic changes and infrastructure needs

Albany’s diverse prisoner population was increasing. Was the department and prison adequately managing its size and diversity?

  • Treatment of Aboriginal prisoners

Were the specific needs of this prisoner population being supported?

  • Treatment of foreign national prisoners

Were the specific needs of this prisoner population being supported?

Page last updated: January 12, 2015
78: Report of an Announced Inspection of Albany Regional Prison