Prisoner surveys:

  • When prisoners were asked who they would seek help from, respondents indicated they were most likely to seek help and support from other prisoners. If staff members were sought, prison officers or senior officers were the most likely to be approached.
  • The most trusted people to help with a complaint or issue were peer support prisoners or unit managers. Prison management was least trusted to assist with a complaint or issue.
  • Over half the respondents (50.4%) were unhappy with the quality of food in the prisons. More than one in five also stated they were unhappy with food quantity, access to recreation, and clothing.
  • Over half were happy with their access to the library (57.2%), bedding (55.3%), laundry (51.8%) and canteen services (51.4%).
  • Four out of ten respondents (40.6%) felt staff understood their culture, with a slightly higher number of people (42.2%) believing staff respected their culture. These numbers were lower for Aboriginal respondents. Most Aboriginal people felt that staff neither respected nor understood their culture (53.7%), with only a quarter (24.5%) believing that staff understood and respected their culture.
  • Only 7.5 per cent of respondents indicated they were not working. Most spent their day at work (39.27%), doing education and work (18.7%) or undertaking education and training (10.6%).
  • Aboriginal respondents were less likely than non-Aboriginal respondents to work in industries (21.7% vs 40.1%), but were twice as likely to be working in gardens and maintenance (16.5% vs 8.5%).
  • Three quarters (74.1%) of people who worked in an external activity believed that their work would help them in the future. Two thirds (68.6%) of those working in gardens or maintenance, and half (47.3%) of those working in industries also believed this to be true.

Staff surveys:

  • Almost all staff (93.9%) indicated they felt mostly or always safe in their work environment.
  • Most respondents (70.6%) reported that there is a good relationship between staff and prisoners.
  • Less than half of prisoner officers believed that they had received adequate training in managing people with mental health issues (25.1%), managing people with drug issues (37.5%) or responding to an emergency where there was a loss of control of the facility (40.4%).
Page last updated: October 3, 2014
Prisoner and staff perceptions of WA custodial facilities from 2010-2012