• Casuarina accommodated 631 prisoners at the time of the inspection. The Department provided two new accommodation units, the prison’s design capacity increased from 397 to 473, and a lower rate of double bunking was achieved. Despite these improvements the prison remained crowded, with insufficient infrastructure, services, and custodial staffing.
  • Casuarina held twice as many remand detainees (102) as it had held in 2010 (51). The prison lacked appropriate facilities and regimes for these.
  • Infrastructure had not been sufficiently improved; the kitchen, medical facility, infirmary and industries workshops required improvement. There was also a need for specialist mental health facilities.
  • Casuarina enjoyed strong local management and committed and professional staff. However, understaffing hampered the prison’s provision of prisoner services, including education, industries, and recreation.
  • Casuarina provided a safe environment for prisoners, including those requiring high levels of security and protection, but lacked sufficient focus on rehabilitation and reintegration.
  • Prisoners suffered from excessive underemployment and unemployment. The inadequate industries infrastructure and industries staff redeployment limited prisoner employment and training. Underemployment and unemployment was particularly high amongst Aboriginal prisoners.
  • Education services were well-targeted but lacked sufficient resources. Custodial staffing limitations restricted the Education and Learning Centre services. Despite the limitations, the Education and Learning Centres were well-managed and provided innovative services. Both centres provided good support for Aboriginal prisoners.
  • Health services staff continued to provide a committed and professional service. However, the facilities remained inadequate. The infirmary was not large enough to fulfill its statewide role, and the prison required facilities for assisted care prisoners and those with mental health issues and mental impairment. Contract problems continued to limit the availability of staff for external hospital appointments.
  • The Department continued to hold excessive numbers of Aboriginal prisoners who were out of country were being accommodated at Casuarina. This prisoner group had lost their dedicated accommodation and was hampered in their ability to support each other.
Page last updated: April 16, 2014
88: Report of an announced inspection of Casuarina Prison