Prison Officers Ask Regional WA to ‘Respect the Risk’

The WA Prison Officers’ Union are in Albany today for the regional WA launch of the new Respect the Risk advertising campaign – a campaign that seeks to highlight the concerns of Prison Officers working at Albany Regional Prison and at other jails right throughout Western Australia.

In common with most other regional prisons Albany Regional Prison suffers serious overcrowding with 290 prisoners housed in a prison designed for less than 190.

WAPOU Secretary John Welch said the “Respect the Risk “ campaign was about getting a fairer deal for Prison Officers from the Barnett-Grylls Government.

“We are in Albany today to raise awareness of the risks faced by local Prison Officers who help manage some of the state’s most violent individuals.

“Our campaign calls on the Barnett-Grylls Government to ensure that we have the right levels of staff needed to keep our prisons as safe as they can be for the workers.

“We seek new facilities so our members can manage prisoners in safe surroundings.

“Prison Officers seek fairer pay and conditions that recognise the risks they face in managing dangerous offenders and keeping the community safe, said Mr Welch.

Mr Welch said the union would use television, radio and print advertisements to get the message out to regional Western Australians.

The Respect the Risk campaign truck, in Albany for the launch, will over the next few weeks and months visit marginal seats throughout Western Australia to make sure the message is heard loud and strong.

“If we want to keep the great staff we have working in our prison system and attract more to fill the continual vacancies that exist, then these workers need to be paid fair wages.

“We’ve been asking for action from the State Government on these issues for a while now but they’ve failed to respond. It’s now time they matched their tough law and order rhetoric with some action.

“Now is the time for WA’s politicians to respect the risks prison officers face every day while helping keep our community safe,” said Mr Welch.

For more information download this media release.