Boronia set a new standard for female imprisonment in Western Australia. Yet the 2012 inspection found that the prison was not yet meeting its full potential.
Boronia continues to offer many good practices and opportunities for its residents. The centre embodies a united sense of purpose, staff/resident relations are generally very positive, and the residents feel safe. However, with successful institutions like Boronia, there is a risk that complacency may hinder continuous improvement, and the drive for new achievements. The broad conclusion offered by the Inspector was that Boronia was generally performing well.
However, little or no progress had been made against most of the key recommendations from the last inspection.
At the completion of the onsite phase of the 2012 inspection, the Inspector posed the following five strategic challenges to both the Department and Boronia:
• Increase the number of Aboriginal and other high needs women at Boronia.
• Increase the use of Section 95 and PEP.
• Commission a methodologically robust independent evaluation of Boronia’s post-release outcomes, including comparisons with the results achieved from other prisons.
• Ensure that:
-Boronia does not remain static but innovates and continues to ‘push boundaries’.
-Management capability is increased through leadership development, experience at other prisons, and through staff from elsewhere experiencing and contributing to Boronia.
-Reduce the extent to which Boronia is ‘one of a kind’ through system-wide application of principles and practices which can be shown to ‘work’ at Boronia and which are transferable.
Following on from Boronia’s ‘settling in’ and ‘consolidation’ phases, it is now necessary for Boronia to reflect on how it can achieve more, and drive forward to its next phase.