Cell thermal conditions were assessed in four prisons during the summer and winter months. One prison was assessed in late spring for equipment testing purposes. The location and timing of data collection were as follows:
- Casuarina Prison (equipment testing) – 5th to 11th November, 2013
- Karnet Prison – 17th to 24th January, 2014
- Roebourne Regional Prison– 24th February to 5th March, 2014
- Albany Regional Prison– 9th to 18th June, 2014
- Bandyup Women’s Prison – 10th to 17th July, 2014
The thermal conditions of six cells were assessed at each facility. ‘Logtag’ data loggers were installed in these cells and recorded temperature and humidity data during the monitoring period. Logtags were placed at head height away from direct sunlight or any source of direct heating or cooling.
Cells were selected based on previous inspection findings and for the purpose of isolating specific design and environmental features (e.g. orientation, cell construction, shading, occupancy). Cell selection was also based on advice from prison staff who identified prisoners least likely to tamper with equipment. If tampering did occur in a cell it would have appeared in a graphical display of temperature recordings as an isolated, sharp spike. With the exception of one cell at Bandyup (which was excluded from analyses) no evidence of equipment tampering was found.
An outdoor weather station was also installed at each prison so that ambient weather conditions could be assessed and compared with cell temperatures. The outdoor temperature recordings demonstrated good alignment with data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
Researchers from Curtin University analysed the temperature data and provided a report to the Office on the findings.