Overcrowded Hakea Prison a ‘crime university’ according to report

Overcrowded Hakea Prison a ‘crime university’ according to report

HAKEA Prison is grossly overcrowded and suffers from some of the worst conditions in WA, according to the Acting Inspector of the Custodial Services.

A report was released in a recent inspection of the Canning Vale prison and Acting Inspector of the Custodial Services Eamon Ryan said replacing the out-dated and overflowing prison was essential.

The report’s first recommendation was that an entire new facility be built.

Some of the key findings from the inspector included they were concerned about prisoners being unable to complete a call home to advise their next of kin on initial reception, there was a concerning level of violence impacting prisoners’ lives. It also found that food safety training had ceased nine months earlier due to a vacancy in a single position, posing an unacceptable risk.

Opposition corrective services spokesman Paul Papalia raised concerns about the overcrowding of the prison.

“Hakea is symptomatic of the massively overcrowded system which has turned our prisons into crime universities,” he said.

The Department of Corrective Services responded with a statement, which said the department had in place a practical and achievable plan for meeting the increased demand for prison accommodation.

The Commissioner of Corrective Services James McMahon said operating correctional services was being made more complex by the growth in prisoner numbers.

“The department has additional obligations to its staff and the people of WA and operates in a complex environment,” he said.