Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison (EGRP) was opened in 1980 to provide custodial services for goldfields towns and remote Aboriginal desert communities. It has a majority Aboriginal prisoner population. The current site will cease operation in mid-2015 with the opening of an adjacent new, purpose-built facility. Capacity of the prison will increase from 110 to 350, sufficient to accommodate almost all Goldfields/Ngaanyatjarra prisoners. While in past inspections the old prison had been identified as inadequate and inappropriate, the new facility has been designed to reduce recidivism by improving service delivery and through-care.
The existing prison is rated minimum security, but can cater for higher security prisoners for short periods. Remand and higher security male prisoners have been held in Unit One, without access to education or therapeutic programs. Minimum security male and mixed security females have been accommodated in Units Two and Three respectively, with adequate access to education, but limited employment opportunities. Appropriate training packages have been delivered, but therapeutic programs designed specifically for local participants have not been made available.
EGRP also operates a work camp at Warburton community, 900km to the east in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands, but a tightening of the security classification process has restricted access for the majority Aboriginal prisoner population. Warburton has rarely exceeded 50 per cent of its capacity of 24.