Greenough Regional Prison will receive a much-needed security upgrade in this year’s State Budget.
The McGowan Labor Government is investing more than $12.3 million to appropriately secure and screen a new female compound at the prison.
The investment in the new compound also includes an enhanced CCTV system, an additional officer’s post, a separate workshop, medical consulting space, and educational programs, as well as re-orienting the female external recreation area away from the male units and oval.
Under the previous Liberal National Government, the female unit was only separated from the male units with a chain-link fence, which provided a direct line of sight to the female prisoners.
A new 4.6 metre-high, pulse-energised perimeter fence will be built to provide the appropriate security between the new female compound and male sections of the prison. The new fence will also include an opaque screen.
The improved security for the female compound, and increased educational and recreational opportunities for the prison are expected to be complete by mid to late 2020.
There have also been other security upgrades to Greenough Regional Prison that are underway or complete, which include new razor wire, security grilles, new cell doors, additional fencing and egress points for staff.
More prison officers have also been hired, and a locally recruited and trained cohort of new prison officers is expected to start work at Greenough prison by the end of May.
As stated by Corrective Services Minister Francis Logan:
“This $12.3 million investment in Greenough Regional Prison will make a significant difference to the management and wellbeing of the female prisoners as well as to the staff.
“The new 4.6m-high pulse-energised fence will also include an opaque screen to provide the security and privacy that should have been in place when the female unit was established under the previous Liberal National Government in 2012-13.
“We have to work with what we inherited from the previous Liberal National Government, which means using limited resources within the restrictions of the existing physical infrastructure to achieve the best results possible.
“The previous government should have put the appropriate level of security in place and greater separation from the male prisoners instead of installing what can only be described as a tennis court fence that was easily breached during the July disturbance.
“I will again reiterate that there was no excuse for the unacceptable violence and destruction that occurred last July, and I place the blame solely on the handful of prisoners responsible.
“As with all of WA’s jails, Greenough prison was suffering from the inherited overcrowding crisis and needed security upgrades and greater educational and recreational opportunities.
“This Government had to act urgently to address the legacy of overcrowding by building new prison units, but is now in a position to improve the security and good order of WA’s regional prisons.
“There have already been upgrades to the security at Greenough that are underway or complete, which include new razor wire, new security grilles, new cell doors, and egress points for staff.
“More prison officers and staff have also been hired, and a locally trained and recruited cohort of prison officers is due to start at the prison in the coming weeks.”