Department spends $19 million on Greenough Prison rebuild

Media release
The Department of Justice has invested nearly $19 million in repairing infrastructure and strengthening security at Greenough Regional Prison since the serious disturbance in July 2018.
Greenough Regional Prison

The work includes $12.3 million on a new stand-alone Women’s Precinct opened in April this year, which will eventually accommodate up to 80 women and provide a range of services to female prisoners of all security ratings, both remand and sentenced.

An Assistant Superintendent for Women Services has been specifically appointed to manage the unit and support the staged return of prisoners.

Acting Corrective Services Commissioner Gary Budge said the new unit provided an excellent opportunity to boost the service delivery model for women in a safe, gender-informed and culturally appropriate place.

“Enhancing the security infrastructure was paramount in the design of the Women’s Precinct which includes a high-tech fence separating the unit from the rest of the facility,” Acting Commissioner Budge said.

Strengthened security features across the Greenough site include upgrades to the control rooms, grilles, new cell doors, a pulse-energised perimeter fence and the digitisation of the CCTV system.

Of the 16 recommendations in the Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services (OICS) report on Greenough tabled in State Parliament today, eight are already reflected in current practices or projects. The Department supported three others in principle and noted one.

The Department recognises there is ongoing psychological impact on some staff and prisoners from the 2018 incident and that their journey to recovery can take time.  
 
The OICS report found that Greenough has a stable and dedicated senior management team, with many years of shared experience.

Acting Commissioner Budge said the team has led the recovery and continues to provide counselling and welfare support for staff and prisoners.

“Staff can also seek help from the Employee Welfare Services, which offers confidential counselling for employees and their family members, while prisoners have access to a wide range of services including mental health and psychological support,” he said.

“I’m pleased the OICS report acknowledged an overall improvement in staff morale since the 2018 incident.”

A Departmental audit in July 2021 found Greenough Regional Prison now had the highest compliance rating of any WA correctional facility across many areas of operations including emergency management and security systems.

The OICS report also acknowledged the prison’s prompt and effective local emergency response which protected staff, prisoners and infrastructure when Cyclone Seroja hit Greenough in 2021.

Page reviewed 14 June 2022