- New group of trainee prison officers latest to join the growing ranks
- Another locally recruited and trained officer cohort joins Bunbury Regional Prison
- More paws on the beat with new drug dog and handler for Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison
- Additional dog handler to monitor upcoming alcohol and other drug treatment prison for men at Casuarina
The McGowan Labor Government's push for another 458 prison officers and greater prison security is running full steam ahead with three new officer cohorts joining the ranks in less than 24 hours.
Corrective Services Minister Francis Logan joined the graduation ceremony for 24 new trainee officers at the Department of Justice's Training Academy in Bentley yesterday.
The officers, who come from a diverse range of backgrounds and former careers, are the latest cohort of new trainee officers to join the prison ranks.
A targeted, open-ended recruitment campaign has attracted more than 2420 applications overall, with 333 applicants now going through a comprehensive selection process.
There have been an extra 228 trainee officers across the State already confirmed to date as a result of the regional recruitment campaign, which also includes new applicants from the open-ended State-wide recruitment process. They have stepped up to keep our jails safe and to help with the rehabilitation of prisoners.
The State's training academy has 70 trainee officers scheduled for training over the remainder of the year with recruitment of trainees on-going to fill additional places. Many of these officers will be based in regional and metro jails as well as the Special Operations Group. They will graduate in the coming months.
Also graduating yesterday were two new drug dog handlers as well as a new drug dog for an existing handler.
For the first time, one of the dogs and a handler will be based at Kalgoorlie's Eastern Regional Goldfields Prison to help in the war against drugs and contraband coming into jails.
Another of the new dog handlers will be based at Western Australia's new alcohol and other drug treatment prison for men at Casuarina when it is expected to be complete in mid-2020.
Meanwhile in Bunbury another trainee group joined the prison officer ranks after 24 locally trained and recruited trainee officers graduated today.
The local officers will be a welcome addition for Bunbury Regional Prison, which is undergoing significant expansion with the addition of a 160-bed unit that is expected to be operational next month.
The Bunbury cohort is the sixth locally recruited and trained trainee prison officer group with classes having been run in Kalgoorlie, Geraldton, Bunbury, Albany and Derby since January.
Comments attributed to Corrective Services Minister Francis Logan:
"I want to congratulate all the new trainee officers who have joined the prison ranks and say thank you taking this step.
"Not only will these new officers help address the previous Liberal National Government's legacy of understaffing, but they will make a difference in prisoner's lives as they act as role models and mentors to try to get people back on the straight and narrow.
"I am very pleased that we have been able to recruit a significant number of local people in the regions, which will help with retaining and attracting staff at our regional jails.
"We are also getting on with providing more jobs for West Australians while also fixing the inherited mess of our understaffed and overcrowded jails.
"Not only are we employing more officers for the current jails, but we are also on track to employ hundreds more as we spend $322 million expanding the prison estate with an extra 1228 beds and infrastructure upgrades coming online in the coming months and years."
Minister's office - 6552 6300