In 2017, there were almost 190,000 strip searches of prisoners in WA and  further 271 strip searches of visitors to prisons. Only 0.08 per cent of the prisoner searches yielded a positive result and one visitor search revealed contraband.

By their nature, strip searches are invasive and therefore Department policy reflects the need for these to be done with regard to decency and self-respect.  This is essential as many people in custody have experienced trauma which can be exacerbated by the practice.

Review terms of reference:

  1. Is strip-searching prisoners, visitors and staff effective at preventing contraband entering WA prisons?
  2. Does the Department mitigate the potential trauma caused through strip searching?
  3. Has the Department adequately explored alternative options to strip searching?

A report on this review is anticipated to be available to the public by the first quarter of 2019.

Restraints are routinely applied to people in custody to reduce the risk of escape. The risk is highest when the person is outside a custodial facility which occurs when appearing in court, obtaining medical treatment, or attending rehabilitative activities. Restraints are also used routinely for individuals who pose a particular risk to the safety and security of a custodial facility or service. Usually the use of these restraints is embedded in a person’s individual management plan, or the local orders for units which hold people for management purposes.

The purpose of this review is to examine the policy and practice governing routine restraint use in custody, including during transport and when outside custodial facilities.

Review terms of reference:

  1. Are policies and local orders governing routine restraint use clear and based on risk?
  2. When restraints are used routinely, is the practice consistent and fair?
  3. When restraints are used routinely, is the practice adequately documented and monitored?

A report on this review is anticipated to be available to the public by the last quarter of 2019.

Page last updated: 14 Feb 2019

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