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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Male drug prison open by October

Western Australia’s first Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Treatment Prison for men is on track to be open by October following the appointment of program service providers this week.

Corrective Services Minister, Francis Logan said Palmerston and Wungening Aboriginal Consortium will run the Solid Steps Alcohol and Other Drug Recovery Program at the new $22.5 million AOD treatment prison at Casuarina.

“We are now one step closer to opening what will be a significant first in Western Australia and a potential game changer for addressing drug addiction in our State,” said Mr Logan.

“This new $22.5 million drug treatment prison will also be a first for the entire nation with the delivery of a unique therapeutic program in a community environment.

“I look forward to seeing what the Palmerston and Wungening Aboriginal Consortium put in place and I am sure that it will continue to evolve as time progresses.”

He said the partnership draws on the experience of the Palmerston Association and the Wungening Aboriginal Corporation running programs in residential and community drug programs, adult justice and Aboriginal engagement.

“This drug treatment prison also delivers on another significant commitment from the McGowan Government’s Methamphetamine Action Plan to address drug-addiction driven offending.”

“It will also provide a recovery-oriented service so prisoners preparing to leave are well supported to successfully reintegrate back into the community and hopefully are less likely to reoffend.” 

The new 128-bed treatment prison will be based on a modified therapeutic community model similar to the one at the Wandoo Rehabilitative Prison for women.

Mr Logan said the WA-first Wandoo facility had been drug-free since its inception nearly two years ago.

“The Casuarina AOD model will incorporate the principles of safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration and empowerment,” he said.

“There will be additional drug detection dogs, high-rotation random urinalysis and new drug detection technology.”

In Australia in 2015, 67 per cent of prison entrants reported using an illicit drug in the 12 months prior to entering prison and half of all prison entrants reported using methamphetamine.

The $22.5 million AOD unit is part of the McGowan Government’s $96.3 million expansion of Casuarina Prison to provide an additional 512 beds and upgrades to key support buildings including the kitchen, social and official visits, reception and health centre.

The new male AOD treatment prison is expected to be operational in October.

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