Recommendation 1:

(a)   The Department’s annual reports on the Acacia Prison Services Agreement should include a robust estimate of the costs it incurs in relation to Acacia Prison and an explanation of how these costs are calculated; and

(b)   The Department’s main Annual Report should provide an outline of the relative costs of different prisons, not merely an average cost across the whole system.

Recommendation 2:

The Department should progress variations to the Acacia Prison Maintenance Agreement so that performance expectations are clear to all stakeholders, and contractor performance can be more effectively managed.

Recommendation 3:

Ensure that the opportunities presented for prisoner employment and training by (i) the new external store and (ii) the industrial training kitchen are utilised at the earliest opportunity.

Recommendation 4:

Throughout the remainder of the expansion project, rigorous processes must be maintained to ensure that the risks and responsibilities of the various parties are clear, fully understood, and properly aligned, with security and safety as the paramount considerations.

Recommendation 5:

At Acacia and across the whole prison system:

(a) Train staff in the retrieval of people entangled in razor wire; and

(b) Establish an MOU with outside agencies to supply equipment such as moveable platforms to assist with retrievals from razor wire at height.

Recommendation 6:

Acacia should enhance its focus on dynamic security.

Recommendation 7:

Ensure that it is standard practice for Acacia and all other prisons in the state to conduct regular audits of the operation and accuracy of personal alarms, and that deficiencies are remedied.

Recommendation 8:

Acacia should examine alternative options to using the detention unit for managing prisoners on restricted regimes or who require additional protection.

Recommendation 9:

Acacia should ensure the detention unit is adequately staffed at all times and that staff adhere to operational procedures.

Recommendation 10:

Acacia should ensure that there is an appropriate balance of experience levels between A shift and B shift.

Recommendation 11:

To ensure that the contractor and the state meet their duty of care to prisoners, and that prisoners’ hospital appointments are not cancelled, the Department should work with Serco to provide appropriate funding to cover (i) the cost of a secure vehicle; and (ii) the staff required for hospital sits.

Recommendation 12:

Serco should introduce additional senior management positions, and realign management responsibilities, to ensure (i) that the Acacia senior management team does not lose focus on immediate operational priorities during the expansion; (ii) improved management/staff communication; and (iii) strong transition planning and change management.

Recommendation 13:

Acacia should use the performance appraisal system in place at Acacia as intended for all staff.

Recommendation 14:

Acacia should provide regular, ongoing cultural awareness training for both custodial and non-custodial staff.

Recommendation 15:

Acacia should examine and implement strategies to improve the management and wellbeing of lifers and long term prisoners.

Recommendation 16:

Acacia should:

(a) Reinvigorate its strategic focus on Aboriginal issues; and

(b) Focus on recruiting and retaining more Aboriginal staff in all areas, including management, custody, education and support roles.

Recommendation 17:

(a) Acacia should monitor, and as necessary enhance the Custodial Management System to ensure that it is functioning as an adequate movement control system; and

(b) Acacia should have processes in place to ensure all prisoners are sufficiently trained in the Custodial Management System as well as processes to assist those prisoners who need help understanding and using this system.

Recommendation 18:

Acacia should:

(a) Cease the cross-deployment of recreation officers; and

(b) Ensure that appropriate additional physical resources and staffing are available to meet current and future demand for recreation.

Recommendation 19:

All prisons in the state, including Acacia, should innovatively expand the use of Skype or other on-line technologies to facilitate family and community contact, official appointments, coverage of significant occasions and connection with communities.

Recommendation 20:

(a) Acacia should increase the number of treatment programs offered to prisoners; and

(b) The Department should ensure that it encourages genuine innovation in program delivery and does not simply require Acacia to deliver the Department’s own suite of programs.

Recommendation 21:

Acacia should reduce levels of Aboriginal unemployment and under-employment.

Recommendation 22:

Acacia should immediately purchase a sufficient number of computers to meet the needs of adult literacy and numeracy students as well as external and business students.

Recommendation 23:

The Department, in collaboration with Serco, should assess the best use of the new accommodation units to target needs and to reduce recidivism. Consideration should be given to linking this to new performance linked fee incentives.

Recommendation 24:

The Department must ensure that under its new organisational arrangements, Acacia is still able to be innovative and that the opportunities for cross-fertilization are maximised.

Read Agency Responses to Recommendations

Page last updated: October 6, 2014
90: Report of an announced inspection of Acacia Prison