Future of Wandoo Reintegration Facility in question

The State Government has confirmed it will take over the Wandoo facility. Stock image.
The State Government has confirmed it will take over the Wandoo facility. Stock image.

QUESTION marks remain over the future of Wandoo Reintegration Facility, despite a report rating the prison’s offender management model the best in the State.

Compiled by Neil Morgan for the Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services (OICS), the report follows an August inspection of the minimum-security prison, which is located in Murdoch.

“On top of the Department’s standard suite of assessments and management plans, Wandoo also incorporates its own reintegration plan to prepare residents to transition into society and lead law-abiding lifestyles,” Mr Morgan wrote. “Wandoo’s offender management model is the best in the State, and should be used as a benchmark for other State facilities.

“The decision to target specific services at young men was a good one and Serco has met or exceeded reasonable expectations.

“In short, there is no performance reason why Wandoo should not continue to operate along current lines.”

Established in 2008, the 78-bed facility has catered for young men aged 18-28 since administrative control of the facility was handed to private operator Serco in late 2012.

The Labor Government indicated during the election campaign that it planned to return control of Wandoo to the Department of Corrective Services when Serco’s current contract expires in November.

It wants to convert the facility into a drug rehabilitation centre for female prisoners.

Asked whether he remained committed to repurposing Wandoo in light of the largely complimentary OICS report, Corrective Services Minister Fran Logan said addressing WA’s meth crisis was one of the State Government’s top priorities.

“We said we’d take drastic action, which is why we’re committed to creating dedicated alcohol and drug rehabilitation prisons to help break the cycle of meth use in the community,” Mr Logan said.

Serco managing director Heath Chapple said the Wandoo Reintegration Facility used an intensive case management process to develop a roadmap for success for each prisoner.

“Through this process, 91 per cent of residents who were at Wandoo for at least three months have left to direct employment or education employment programs,” Mr Chapple said.

“For example, through our partnership with Master Painters & Decorators Australia, residents have attained a certificate II in Painting and Decorating, progressed on to an apprenticeship and are now successfully working in the industry.”

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