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Western Australia's first rehab prison to open as Wandoo returns to public hands

Date posted: 13 September 2017

The State Government of Western Australia (WA) has announced that Wandoo prison, currently operated by Serco, will return to public hands in 2018. The State has invested $9.6 million in its recent budget, to turn the facility into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation prison. The funding is designed to address WA's methamphetamine (ice) use.

The facility will be a first for Western Australia, aimed at breaking the cycle of drug-related crime. According to a 2015 Western Australian study by several government agencies, more than 60% of adults entering prison had used ice or other methamphetamine in the previous 12 months of the survey period.

'Bringing this facility back into public hands will save taxpayers' money and allow us to transform Wandoo into WA's first rehab prison. This is an important part of our Meth Action Plan, to address the devastating impact of meth in our community. Addressing WA's meth crisis needs a smart and proactive approach that the last government simply failed to deliver. The drug and alcohol rehabilitation prison will ensure those who break the law because of addiction and substance abuse will be kept away from the society they harmed but will be given the rehabilitation they need,' said Premier Mark McGowan.

Minister for Emergency services, Corrective Services, Francis Logan, said that he and his colleagues have made ice a priority issue since forming government. 'We have been getting on with the job since we were elected to establish this drug and alcohol rehabilitation prison. The state's overcrowded prison network is affecting the programs that can be delivered and we are working to address that, but it will take time,' said Minister Logan.

Having a separate facility that can concentrate on those offenders with alcohol and drug problems, particularly meth, means we can begin getting to the root causes of someone's addiction. We have to be smarter about how we manage the State's prisons and devastating meth crisis. Restoring the privately-run prison to the public sector will not only save the taxpayer money but give the Department of Justice the flexibility to continually work on delivering the best possible rehabilitation program to stop this senseless cycle of drug and alcohol offending,' added the Minister.

It is understood that the Department of Justice is now working on developing a rehabilitation model that will include comprehensive drug and alcohol rehabilitation services drawing on successful national and international programs.

Source: Government of Western Australia Media Statements


Last updated: 2 March 2018
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Australia's National Research Centre on AOD Workforce Development National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre National Drug Research Institute