- Report into Greenough prison events shows no single cause
- Majority of recommendations relate directly to Greenough
- New management to be appointed to Greenough prison
- Options to be developed for new women's facility
The critical incident review into the events at Greenough Regional Prison has found no single factor alone caused the riot and escape on July 24, 2018.
The report found that there was a 'strong element of opportunism' when prisoners were being evacuated to safety following a fire that had started in unit 2.
Importantly, the report, which was prepared by former Commissioner of Corrections Victoria Jan Shuard, also found that the majority of prisoners did not take part in the riotous behaviour and, in some cases, assisted officers and tried to put out the fires.
The Department of Justice has accepted in principle the report's recommendations and has already been taking action to address some of the issues raised including addressing staffing levels and training, the appropriate use of adaptive regimes, increased security measures and ensuring prison procedures and policies are consistently applied.
Immediately following the riot and escape, Corrective Services Minister Francis Logan spoke with Corrective Services Commissioner Tony Hassall about the removal of all power tools and ladders from within prison grounds.
Counselling and medical support was also offered to the prison officers and female prisoners involved in the events of July 24 and 25.
Greenough Regional Prison will also have a new leadership and management approach, which will focus on improving localised intelligence gathering, engage more closely with Aboriginal prisoners, ensure adaptive regimes are used appropriately and manage prisoner cohorts to try to avoid collusion and disruptive behaviour.
On Monday, several officers were commended by the Department of Justice at its Corrective Services Awards for evacuating prisoners at risk of smoke inhalation to a safe area as well as assisting those prisoners who were fleeing the riotous behaviour.
The restoration works at Greenough prison are nearing completion and options have been developed for a new women's facility, which will need to be considered by all of government.
The review can be downloaded at https://www.justice.wa.gov.au/_files/ci-review-greenough-regional-prison.pdf
Comments attributed to Corrective Services Minister Francis Logan:
"This report highlights that there was no single cause of the riot and escape at Greenough prison, but rather a combination of local issues and opportunistic actions that led to an unacceptable outcome.
"However, the report does make one thing perfectly clear and that was the group of prisoners who caused this wanton and reprehensible destruction are solely to blame for their actions.
"There is no excuse for the stupidity and violence we saw at Greenough.
"The overwhelming majority of prisoners at Greenough wanted nothing to do with the events of July 24 and 25, and they were all subject to the same conditions at the prison.
"The group of prisoners that led this riotous behaviour should not have been allowed to remain together for so long and there will be significant changes at Greenough.
"There will be a new management team which will adhere to existing policies and procedures for the management of the prison, the appropriate use of adaptive regimes, and ensure greater engagement with prisoners and officers to more accurately gauge the temperature of the prison.
"We will return female prisoners to Greenough in time, but for now several options are being developed for a new facility that will need to be considered by all of government.
"I want to again thank the prison officers and special operations group for their professional, swift and appropriate handling of this incident.
"It is because of their actions that there were no serious injuries and further destruction was avoided.
"Thank you again to the police for their outstanding actions in apprehending those prisoners who stupidly thought they could find freedom.
"I trust that the justice system will throw the book at them and they will receive their full sentence which can be up to seven years."
Minister's office - 6552 6300