- Existing Wandoo prison operated by Serco will come back into public hands in 2018
- $9.6 million invested to turn facility into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation prison
- McGowan Labor Government addressing State's meth crisis that skyrocketed under previous Liberal National government
- First-of-its-kind facility aims to break the cycle of drug-related crime
The McGowan Labor Government will bring the Wandoo Reintegration Facility back into public hands and turn it into Western Australia's first drug and alcohol rehabilitation prison.
Delivering an important component of the McGowan Labor Government's Methamphetamine Action Plan, the first-of-its-kind prison is designed to break the cycle of drug-related crime.
According to a 2015 Western Australian study by several government agencies, more than 60 per cent of adults entering prison had used ice or speed in the previous 12 months.
Effective rehabilitation in prison will provide greater success in lowering reoffending rates.
The 80-bed Wandoo Reintegration Facility, currently operated by Serco, will be transferred back into public hands on May 1, 2018 and will be operated by the Department of Justice.
It is expected the return of the costly privatised service back to the public sector will save taxpayers' dollars and honours another election commitment to return privatised services where possible and economically beneficial to do so.
The Department of Justice and Serco, under its contract obligations, will work together to transfer Wandoo back to the public sector. It will then be transformed into a dedicated drug and alcohol rehabilitation prison for women.
Wandoo's minimum-security 18 to 28-year-old male prisoners, who are approaching the end of their sentences, will be transferred to other appropriate facilities within the prison estate.
The Department of Justice is now working on developing a rehabilitation model that will include comprehensive drug and alcohol rehabilitation services drawing on successful national and international programs.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"Bringing this facility back into public hands will save taxpayers' money and allow us to transform Wandoo into WA's first rehab prison.
"This is an important part of our Meth Action Plan, to address the devastating impact of meth in our community.
"Addressing WA's meth crisis needs a smart and proactive approach that the last government simply failed to deliver.
"The drug and alcohol rehabilitation prison will ensure those who break the law because of addiction and substance abuse will be kept away from the society they harmed but will be given the rehabilitation they need.
"We have to stop the revolving door of reoffending when it comes to drug and alcohol addiction, particularly with meth.
"We cannot simply keep locking people away and expecting that a prison environment - with its many challenges - is a place that people can address all of the complex causes of their addiction."
Comments attributed to Corrective Services Minister Fran Logan:
"We have been getting on with the job since we were elected to establish this drug and alcohol rehabilitation prison.
"The State's overcrowded prison network is affecting the programs that can be delivered and we are working to address that, but it will take time.
"Having a separate facility that can concentrate on those offenders with alcohol and drug problems, particularly meth, means we can begin getting to the root causes of someone's addiction.
"We have to be smarter about how we manage the State's prisons and devastating meth crisis.
"Restoring the privately-run prison to the public sector will not only save the taxpayer money but give the Department of Justice the flexibility to continually work on delivering the best possible rehabilitation program to stop this senseless cycle of drug and alcohol offending."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Corrective Services Minister's office - 6552 6300