Karnet has generally continued with its strong performance. Even so, a number of key challenges were identified.
The prison’s approach over the past three years toward enhancing the flexibility of its timetable and reducing scheduling conflicts has been inventive and commendable. However, more attention to this matter is needed and the prison will need to continue the good work it has done.
Karnet has stated its intention to increase the number of Aboriginal prisoners held there. However, changes to the Department’s security assessment tool have inadvertently disadvantaged Aboriginal prisoners, resulting in their under-representation at minimum security. The Office has therefore recommended that the Department of Corrective Services continue to examine ways to increase the number of Aboriginal prisoners at minimum security, including Karnet and other re‐entry prisons.
The greatest change to take place at Karnet in the past three years has been its significant increase in prisoner population. This has seen a corresponding increase in the numbers of custodial staff, but not in the area of administrative support staff and services. The number of administrative staff should be supplemented to minimise the strain of the group’s inflated workload.
In the prison’s fiftieth year of operation, the age and size of some of its buildings are problematic. A great deal of work has been done on external aspects of the prison, however the interiors of the older cells require the same level of attention. Similarly, the new reception building and laundry have gone a long way toward addressing the needs of an increased population, however plans for the extension of the medical building have yet to be progressed.
This Report has identified further opportunities for Karnet to continue its journey towards becoming the centre for pre-release management, including the introduction of a supermarket-type arrangement for the self-care unit, and for after-hours access to education facilities for full-time students. It is hoped that Karnet will continue to push the boundaries of innovative practice in its field.