Warnings of deaths in custody as WA prison population explodes
originally by: The World Today
published: 9 August 2012
ELEANOR HALL: Staying in Western Australia, despite the booming economy, the state has seen a surge in its prison population, and there are warnings today that prison overcrowding along with a lack of rehabilitation programs is creating a dangerous mix that could lead to more deaths in custody.
The Government says it’s dealing with the problem by opening up new prison units, as Emily Bourke reports.
EMILY BOURKE: The number of prisoners housed at the Albany facility in Western Australia has increased significantly and it now includes dozens of Indonesian nationals charged with people smuggling offences.
Western Australia’s inspector of custodial services has found health services, education and employment opportunities for prisoners haven’t kept pace with expanded prisoner numbers.
John Welch is from the WA Prison Officers Union.
JOHN WELCH: The prison system is really like I suppose a water tank with a pipe in and pipe out and if you stop the water leaving at one end what happens is the population rises. There has been a general tightening of legislation by the previous government and this in relation to law and order.
Read full article >