Providing support to prisoners to transition back to society should be a key element in reducing the number of people returning to prison. However transition services in WA prisons are under-resourced, staffing levels are poorly correlated with demand, and services do not always reach the higher risk prisoners. Inevitably where resources are strained compromises and reductions are made on the type of services that can be delivered.
Access to services is unequal across the state with some facilities actively promoting the service availability. Other facilities rely on prisoners requesting services often without knowing if the prisoners are aware of its availability. This means those most in need of help may not know these services exist and therefore cannot access assistance.
The Department of Corrective Services believes the soon to be implemented Individualised and Integrated Offender Management Framework (IIOM) will improve and streamline transition service delivery. The IIOM is a promising concept however it is not a necessary pre-requisite for some of the recommendations made in this report. Concrete commitments and timelines are needed to improve transition services.