• The number of prisoners attending funerals per prisoner population has been substantially declining since 2008. (Read more)
  • The Department has no discrete budget for funeral attendance, nor the capacity to determine the costs associated with attending funerals, despite making claims that substantial cost savings need to be made, or can be achieved. (Read more)
  • There is no evidence that Western Australia is the most generous jurisdiction in the country in providing for prisoners and detainees to attend funerals.  (Read more)
  • On 1 September 2012 the Department amended the policy governing funeral attendance for prisoners introducing a distance criterion to limit funeral attendance to those occurring no further than a 200 km return journey from the nearest prison.  The policy raised obvious substantive equality issues as 93 per cent of the application for funerals over 200km were made by Aboriginal people. The policy was rescinded one month later. (Read more)
  • The current policy also disproportionately affects Aboriginal people as it tightens the criterion around the significance of the relationship between the prisoner and the deceased. Of the 25 Aboriginal people who were approved to attend funerals in August 2012, only 5 would still have been eligible based on the tightened criteria.  (Read more)
  • The Department was unable to provide any analysis of the implications of the policy changes in either September 2012 or the current policy.
  • Applications to attend funerals may be denied due to security concerns.  Security risk assessments are thorough.  (Read more)
  • Prisoners are not notified of the option to appeal, nor is the current appeals process clear and transparent. (Read more)
  • The policy governing funeral attendance for juvenile detainees is not comprehensive but its application is appropriate and effective. Detainees were generally positive about the funeral application assessment process and indicated some staff were supportive. However, insufficient staff numbers have impacted on some young people’s ability to attend. (Read more)
Page last updated: September 4, 2014