Independent report confirms ‘serious challenges’ and overcrowding at Albany Regional Prison

The release of a new report by Western Australia’s Inspector of Custodial Services, Neil Morgan, into Albany Regional Prison has confirmed what the WA Prison Officers’ Union (WAPOU) has been saying for months – that Albany Prison is facing serious challenges caused by overcrowding.

“Today’s report from the Inspector of Custodial Services lists the State Government’s failure to replace or renovate vital infrastructure at Albany Prison, some of which has needed attention for many years,” said WAPOU Secretary John Welch.

“Mr Morgan’s report highlights the opening of a new accommodation unit earlier this year only for another unit to be mothballed at the same time – saying the government has ‘redistributed not redressed’ the overcrowding problem at the prison.

In March 2012 the Prison Officers’ Union raised concerns about the Barnett Government’s failure to keep all existing beds in operation at the prison when a new unit was opening that month.

“I said in March that it was ludicrous that at the same time the Government was trumpeting the opening of 96 new beds at Albany Regional Prison they were closing 90 existing beds,’ said Mr Welch.

“Now five months later and we still haven’t seen any movement by the State Government to address Albany Prison’s chronic overcrowding.

Mr Welch has called on new Corrective Services Minister Murray Cowper to start tackling the problem of overcrowding in WA prisons.

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