The Office found many strengths and achievements in the performance of the Wandoo Reintegration Facility after its first 18 months of operation. In many of these areas, the performance at Wandoo was best practice in Western Australia:

  1. Enabling works were successfully undertaken to convert and renovate the former Rangeview Remand Centre to Wandoo with the involvement of residents. This has considerably improved the amenity and suitability of the facility for its current purpose.
  2. The orientation process for new residents provided a thorough introduction to many aspects of life at Wandoo, effectively created a supportive network for each resident, emphasised resident self-responsibility and possessed educative and diagnostic elements.
  3. Serco Wandoo had developed its own set of nine intervention Pathways as the basis for its throughcare and reintegration planning which sought to address social exclusion factors relevant to young WA prisoners. These assessment and planning processes were multidisciplinary in that it involved clinicians and others from diverse disciplines, and holistic in that it included identification of needs, support opportunities, clinical interventions and post-release strategies across a number of domains.
  4. An allocated case worker met with each resident every two to four weeks in an explicitly supportive role, with a focus on progress in all aspects of their activities at Wandoo. At the meeting, any issues concerning the resident were discussed, their release plans reviewed, any behavioural issues addressed.
  5. The quality of the relationship between staff and residents in general, and the case worker relationship in particular, supported effective dynamic security at Wandoo. Security systems and processes in general were appropriate and effective.
  6. Like Acacia, the CMS Kiosk in each unit provided notifications, messages, timetable information, meal choices, appointment request, account management and spends for residents and frees up staff from dealing with such queries.
  7. Visitors were afforded a safe and comfortable environment for their visits with residents and remote virtual visits using Skype were also facilitated.
  8. There was a good level of health service provision and strong efforts were made to educate residents to care for themselves and to stay fit and healthy. This included for example the extension of physiotherapy beyond individual treatment to training in correct use of gym equipment and group education sessions on injury management, diet and exercise, and manual handling.
  9. A Resident Self Help Book was provided to each new resident as part of an assessment and education session with a centre psychologist aimed at strengthening mental health and building resilience. Unlike most facilities, psychology also provided individual therapeutic counselling.
  10. Wandoo had created nine integrated education, training and employment Pathways aimed at preparing residents for jobs in demand they may attain on release. While not yet fully implemented, ideally each pathway included education or training strategies, an associated employment opportunity within Wandoo, and reparation activities for residents who were approved to go outside the facility.
  11. Wandoo hosted some excellent arts programs for its residents, including a Rap ’n Radio program run by an Aboriginal DJ from Central Institute of Technology which focused on lyric writing and use of technology in developing spoken word performance for recording.
  12. Residents at Wandoo were making some very positive contributions to the community by way of reparative work, notably at the Foodbank warehouse, in the gardens at local police, DFES and HeadWest facilities, in weeding at Bibra Lake and in maintaining a section of the Bibbulmun track.
  13. Wandoo had successfully facilitated two IMP programs: the Pathways substance use program and the Think First cognitive behavioural program. It also attracted strong participation by residents in a range of self-help alcohol or drug programs and an Anger Management program. It had hosted the Mad Bastards program, an Aboriginal Health and Empowerment Program for Aboriginal men run by Mibbinbah.
  14. Wandoo had put restorative justice at the centre of its operating philosophy with implications for how relationship tensions between residents, and between residents and staff were restored. The approach also guided management of behavioural issues of residents and in assisting residents to prepare for their reintegration back into the community through family group conferencing.
  15. A Behavioural Management Planning system which uses a resident workbook had been developed to complement restorative justice practices and minimise transfers back to higher security placements. This was managed by unit staff and centre psychologists.
  16. A good range of fitness, team sports, arts, music, group activities and passive recreation options had been established at Wandoo. For those so qualified, external activities were also available including participation in VSwans football program and Lakeside basketball competition. Visitors from the Wildcats and West Coast Eagles had also given inspiration to the young men.
  17. A strong program of occasional activities was also being provided, including expos in employment, health and wellbeing, and parenting; quarterly family days; Christmas and NAIDOC celebrations; ANZAC commemoration; Harmony Day; and reward and monthly award and recognition ceremonies to celebrate achievements of residents.
  18. The Good Beginnings parenting support program appears to make a real difference in the way young fathers think and behave in relation to their children, providing individual counselling, playgroups, picnics, library visits, special visits and remote Skype visits.
  19. The partnership with Mission Australia had provided a strong platform for re-entry services with appropriate placements secured for accommodation and work or training for those released from Wandoo. Mission Australia’s own partnership with the ORS Group, a Jobsearch provider attending at Wandoo should help augment the assistance available in finding and keeping a work placement on release.

The Office also found some areas of limitation or weakness in performance at the time of the inspection:

  1. The population of the centre remained significantly under capacity 18 months after commissioning. This was out the control of local management.
  2. The former Rangeview Remand Centre was designed to accommodate just 68 youth or children including in ‘buddy cells’. Should Wandoo be filled to its contractual capacity of 80 young men, 46 would be in shared cells, which could generate significant pressures for the men and the centre.
  3. The quality of accommodation in self-care provided a weak incentive for good behaviour and program participation – the kitchen was too small and under-equipped, and the outdoor area was uninviting.
  4. Some elements in the system of employment, training and education at Wandoo were undeveloped, and individual progress was hampered variously by short stays in Wandoo, program commitments, cancellations, lack of onsite training facilities and limitations in access to external education, training, and work.
  5. Wandoo made only limited resources available for general education.
  6. The centre had insufficient program, education, training or work facilities onsite to properly engage 80 young men. Just 25 of the 49 residents were approved to participate in approved external activities through section 95 of the Prisons Act 1981. Only 15 had permission to participate in approved unsupervised activities.
  7. Bottlenecks had occurred due to delays and limitations in the Departmental approval processes for prisoners to attain section 95 approval, in approvals for external placements, and in approvals for the Prisoner Employment Program.
  8. Wandoo had difficulties in scheduling and transporting residents approved for section 95 placements or for other authorised absences. As more residents engage in external activities, more staff and vehicles need to be made available for transport, supervision and monitoring of such activities.


Page last updated: December 17, 2014
94: Report of an Announced Inspection of Wandoo Reintegration Facility