- Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison celebrates one year of operation.
- Twenty-six lives changed so far with 72 women currently undergoing program
- The prison is a key pillar of the McGowan Labor Government's $244.8 million Meth Action Plan.
Australia's first-of-its-kind alcohol and other drug treatment prison for women has today celebrated one year of running its innovative drug addiction treatment program.
The Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison was a McGowan Labor Government election commitment and forms part of this government's comprehensive Methamphetamine Action Plan.
Female prisoners have volunteered to be part of this ground-breaking prison to try to beat their drug addictions that have led to their criminal behaviour.
So far 26 female prisoners have graduated after completing an intensive and confronting six-month course. There are another 72 women currently undergoing the program.
Wandoo also demonstrates the success of bringing a privatised asset back into public hands when appropriate to do so.
Preliminary figures show that Wandoo, despite its intensive program, is more cost effective than when the prison was a private, reintegration facility for a small cohort of young male offenders.
A three-monthly snapshot has revealed a nearly 10 per cent reduction in prison costs.
Wandoo's prisoner-centred approach continues when the women leave prison with support services still available from the program provider Cyrenian House to help offenders transition back into the community.
Also no drugs have been detected among prisoners or visitors to Wandoo since it began operating.
A second 128-bed facility for male prisoners is expected to be complete by the middle of next year at Casuarina Prison.
Comments attributed to Corrective Services Minister Francis Logan:
"Today's anniversary marks a radical new approach to tackling drug addiction among female prisoners and the results are looking very good.
"Twenty-six women have graduated from the intensive six-month course and while they still have a long road to walk, they have made some important first steps.
"The Wandoo program has not only helped them tackle the root cause of their addiction and shown them how to move forward, but it has also strengthened their resolve to try to avoid drugs in the future.
"The McGowan Labor Government has stepped up to the enormous challenging of addressing drugs in our society, particularly methamphetamine, and this female treatment prison is a major part of that work.
"I want to commend the Department of Justice and the program provider Cyrenian House for their commitment to helping women affect real change in their lives.
"The women at Wandoo not only have the benefit of a rehabilitation program that tackles the root cause of addiction, but they also tap into a range of educational and vocational programs to ensure that when they are released back to the community they have practical skills and emotional tools to lead healthy, productive lives, crime and drug free."
Minister's office - 6552 6300