Federal report confirms WA locking up women faster than any other state in the country

The latest federal Report on Government Services has revealed that Western Australia has the highest rate of female imprisonment of all the States (bar the Northern Territory).

The Productivity Commission’s report reveals WA has a female imprisonment rate of 52.2 per 100,000 women, which is double the rate in NSW and almost triple the rate of Victoria.

“Given these figures, it’s no surprise that WA’s main women’s prison, Bandyup, has at times been overflowing,” said WA Prison Officers’ Union Secretary John Welch.

“The Inspector of Custodial Services and the Economic Regulation Authority have both agreed that Bandyup is the most overcrowded prison in the state, and this is creating a dangerous environment for our Prison Officers.

“Bandyup also has the highest rate of assaults of any prison in the state, so there is a clear correlation between overcrowding and violence.”

The report also shows that WA has the highest overall rate of incarceration of all the States (bar the Northern Territory).

The ROGS report shows WA has an overall imprisonment rate of 271.1 per 100,000 adults, which is almost double that of other states, including Victoria and Tasmania.

“This report comes as no surprise to us, as our members are dealing with overcrowded prisons every day,” said Mr Welch.

“The Barnett Government is simply locking people up faster than it can build cells to accommodate them.”

The report also showed that WA has the highest rate of incarceration of Aboriginal people in the country.

WA’s Aboriginal incarceration is higher even than the Northern Territory at 3,635 people per 100,000 adults.

This rate is more than double Victoria’s rate and double Queensland.