Photo above left to right: Cancer Council CEO Ashley Reid, Commissioner Mike Reynolds, Hon Bill Johnston MLA and Bandyup Women's Prison Superintendent Andrea Bowen.
With smoking reduction strategies already in place, this is the next step in the Department’s commitment to phase out smoking at all custodial facilities state-wide.
Before today, WA and the ACT were the only jurisdictions where smoking was still allowed in prisons.
With the rate of smoking higher for Aboriginal people and women who enter the prison system compared to the same groups in the community, it’s an opportunity for those in the care of the Middle Swan facility to embrace healthy behaviours they can continue and share upon release.
Ahead of the pilot commencing, Bandyup embraced the fresh start with prisoners and staff participating in events, support groups, education and health programs, and recreational activities.
For the next 30 days free Nicotine Replacement Therapy is available to staff and prisoners at the site as an interim support measure to help with the transition.
Cancer Council WA and Australian Council on Smoking and Health are supporting the move and will provide ongoing assistance to prisoners and staff at the site.
Going smoke-free will also have economic benefits for prisoners, with a report from the Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services finding $10.1 million was spent on tobacco products in 2020.
Commissioner for Corrective Services, Mike Reynolds said he was proud of the prisoners and staff at Bandyup for taking the first step in this initiative.
"Going smoke-free is necessary for the health and safety of the WA prisons," said Commissioner Reynolds.
"This is an opportunity for members of the Bandyup Women's Prison community to make a fresh start and a commitment that will have benefits for them, their family and friends."