Years of poor planning and lack of investment leave Broome Regional Prison unfit for purpose

The WA Prison Officers’ Union has supported the findings of an independent report into Broome Prison, which found years of poor planning and a lack of capital investment had left the prison unfit for purpose and not of a humane standard.

A report by the Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services found the living conditions of the men’s maximum-security unit to be overcrowded, degrading and the worst in the state. It also criticized the poor quality and inappropriate design of the women’s unit at the Prison.

The report also revealed that staffing levels were too low to safely manage the prisoner population and that work, education, programs, and skills development courses were limited or non-existent.

“We fully support the report’s findings with regards to the lack of planning and investment at Broome Prison, and the impact that has had on prisoners and staff,” said WAPOU Secretary John Welch.

“These findings are not unexpected, and we have been raising concerns about the lack of planning and investment at Broome Prison for years.”

“Clearly the previous state government did nothing over the last 8 years, and its failure to properly plan for and upgrade the prison has left the prison in a state unfit for prisoners and staff alike.”

“The low staffing levels coupled with the lack of work, education and programs for prisoners, has also created a dangerous working environment for our prison officers.”

“It was pleasing to see the Inspector report a very positive relationship between staff and prisoners at Broome, and we also share his concerns about the lack of appropriate cultural training and culturally appropriate services given the very high proportion of Aboriginal prisoners incarcerated at the prison. “

“WA’s prison system clearly does not have the necessary capacity to close Broome Prison.”

“Whilst we commend the new state government’s $2.7 million funding commitment to upgrade the prison, a long term plan for the custodial needs of the region is needed as a matter of urgency.”