This review found that :

  • most of our prisons are very crowded (too many prisoners for the available space and facilities)
  • the Department’s method of reporting has hidden the extent of the problem
  • too many prisoners are held in cells that do not comply with Australasian standards and even International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) standards
  • occupying cells above intended capacity is:
    • compromising prisoners’ rights to privacy and decent treatment
    • generating risks to safety and rehabilitation
  • services to prisoners are increasingly stretched
  • staff, management, and prisoners deserve the community’s appreciation for the way they have coped with these pressures.

Some of the pressures at some sites will be temporarily relieved when the new Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison is filled and when the ‘new’ women’s prison at the Hakea site (‘Melaleuca’) becomes fully operational early in 2017. However, most prisons will continue to operate above intended capacity and the new facilities will not meet future demand.

A new prison is needed. It should be designed with the flexibility to cater for different groups but the most obvious need is for a large metropolitan remand prison for men.

Page last updated: December 15, 2016

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