THE new women’s-only Melaleuca Remand and Reintegration Facility will open to prisoners this month.
Built in units 11 and 12 of Canning Vale-based Hakea Prison, the 256-bed women’s stand-alone remand centre will take the burden off the states only women’s prison Bandyup, which is currently over capacity.
In a West Australian first, the Sodexo-managed Melaleuca will receive a one off payment of up to $15,000 for every prisoner who does not return to Department of Corrective Services custody within a two-year period following their release.
The incentivised target aims to reduce the overall reoffending rate for female prisoners from 34 per cent to 27 per cent.
The structured incentive is designed to help reduce reoffending rates by women and has been modelled from the UK and US.
Speaking in Parliament in August, Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis said the incentives would improve rehabilitation services for women, and increase safety in the community.
“Through these contractual incentives we will improve services for women prisoners and ensure their security, and achieve value for money for taxpayers,” he said.
“The end result is a safer community for all Western Australians. It confirms what we have said repeatedly on the public record: it is not about who provides services; it is about providing services that rehabilitate.”
Further, Mr Francis said engaging a private service provider would be cheaper in the long run for tax payers.
The cost per prisoner per day was projected at $206, 42 per cent cheaper per prisoner per day than Bandyup Women’s Prison.
“It means that we will get better services to provide post-release support so those prisoners who may be more likely to reoffend will be able to be kept on the straight and narrow and we will see a reduction in the recidivism rate of female prisoners,” Mr Francis said.
“These are all very noble things to achieve, which could not be done if it was kept within the private sector, regardless of the cost.”