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$26 million Hakea Prison redevelopment opened by Attorney General
24/01/2001 11:00 AM
Attorney General Peter Foss today officially opened the $26 million Hakea Prison re-development. Hakea is now the
State’s largest prison facility and its first dedicated Remand, Receival and Assessment Centre.
The upgrade has provided 176 additional cells, taking the combined prisoner accommodation capacity from 500 to 680 offenders. This includes two permanent 64-cell units and a 48-cell relocatable living unit.
“This new accommodation is part of the State Government’s strategy announced in 1998 to expand capacity and make structural changes in the State's prison system,” Mr Foss said.
“A key part of that strategy was the amalgamation of the existing Canning Vale Prison and C W Campbell Remand Centre into a dedicated receival and assessment centre for prisoners.”
The opening of Acacia Prison later this year (750 beds), coupled with the three-phase $14.8 million Bandyup Women’s Prison upgrade, is also part of the Government’s continuing strategy to address capacity problems and enhance rehabilitation services.
Mr Foss said the large-scale redevelopment included new centres for Crisis Care, Health and Visits and provided the most comprehensive facilities on offer in Western Australia.
“These state-of-the-art facilities will enable better early assessment of the needs of prisoners and the development of programs for education, training and clinical services,” he said.
A dedicated receival, assessment, remand and treatment facility catering exclusively for prisoners either awaiting sentence or newly-sentenced and prior to transfer to another facility is a key feature of the upgrade.
“The assessment program will provide for an integrated, comprehensive assessment process culminating in a Management Plan for newly sentenced receivals,” Mr Foss said.
“The plan will identify issues that contribute to offending behaviour and will also determine the most appropriate management and intervention strategies to address that behaviour.”
“The new process will reduce stress and tension on the individual prisoners who are admitted to the prison system by the provision of a standardised reception and orientation process.”
The new facility is designed to cope efficiently with the higher numbers of offenders being received and discharged, while maintaining effective security and segregation.
The new 15-bed Crisis Care facility was designed to serve the needs of a small group of acute and at times chronic risk offenders, who require more specialised treatment and support interventions than are available in the mainstream prison management program.
“The aim of the Crisis Care Unit is to minimise the prevalence of suicidal and/or self-harming behaviour that a prisoner may experience and to provide therapeutic facilities for the management and monitoring of prisoners experiencing severe drug withdrawal or an acute psychiatric episode or medical problem,” Mr Foss said.
The Health Centre provides a comprehensive health, mental health and ‘at risk’ assessments for all receivals.
“The much improved facilities will ensure that the health requirement for offenders at Hakea Prison are in line with community standards and will continue to provide the best of health care well into the foreseeable future,” the Attorney General said.
He said the new Visits Facility would provide a family-friendly setting where offenders could enjoy contact time with their families and other visitors within a secure environment.
“In addition to providing comprehensive services to prisoners, the physical and administrative amalgamation of the two prisons will bring about operational change and efficiencies,” Mr Foss said.
“The physical joining of the two prisons last July, and the work undertaken in connecting existing technology with new technology, is a credit to the numerous architects, builders and individuals involved in the work.
“It has been acknowledged by representatives from overseas that this is the first occasion that works of this nature have been attempted or undertaken anywhere in the world.”
The amalgamation enables the Ministry of Justice to use Casuarina Prison for the purpose for which it was originally intended - housing long-term, maximum security prisoners.
Danielle van Kampen 9321 2222