$12.3 million upgrade for Greenough Regional Prison

Geraldton Guardian
Flashback to July last year: Corrective Services Minister Fran Logan inspects the damage at Greenough Regional Prison.
Camera IconFlashback to July last year: Corrective Services Minister Fran Logan inspects the damage at Greenough Regional Prison. Credit: The West Australian

The State Government will this morning announce a $12.3 million upgrade of Greenough Regional Prison to include a new female compound and security upgrades in the wake of last July’s riot and escape.

Upgrades will include an enhanced CCTV system, an additional officer’s post, a separate workshop, medical consulting space, educational programs, as well as re-orienting the female external recreation area away from the male units and oval.

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 female unit was previously separated from male units with a chain-link fence, which provided a direct line of sight to the female prisoners.

Security for the female compound, and increased educational and recreational opportunities for the prison are expected to be complete by mid to late 2020.

Other security upgrades under way or complete include new razor wire, security grilles, new cell doors, additional fencing and egress points for staff.

A locally recruited and trained cohort of new prison officers is also expected to start work at the prison by the end of the month.

Corrective Services Minister Francis Logan took a swipe at the former Barnett Government today over security measures at the prison leading up to the July 24 riot, which left a multi-million damage bill.

Ten inmates also escaped in the worst single prison outbreak in WA history.

All inmates were recaptured within two days.

Flashback to July last year: Damage inside Greenough Regional Prison after the riots.
Camera IconFlashback to July last year: Damage inside Greenough Regional Prison after the riots. Credit: The West Australian

“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,” Mr Logan said.

“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.”

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