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Department of Justice removes female prisoners from Greenough Regional Prison to accommodate more male inmates

Jessica MoroneyGeraldton Guardian
Greenough Regional Prison.
Camera IconGreenough Regional Prison. Credit: Gavin Box

Greenough Regional Prison is set to become a predominately all-male jail, with authorities to transfer more than two dozen women prisoners elsewhere to free up space for the escalating inmate population.

The move will see female prisoners sent to other WA jails ahead of refurbishments and to have more space to accommodate a rising number of inmates across metropolitan facilities.

The women’s precinct at Greenough Regional Prison, which has capacity for 77 prisoners, will be vacated for male inmates following a “seasonal rise” in prisoner numbers.

Only 27 women were housed at the prison as at Wednesday, February 21.

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The Department of Justice will keep a section of the prison available for women who are received from court, for visits and for release, and provide support such as short term transfers back to prison for family visits.

The prisoners will be transported to metropolitan and regional prisons, while both sentenced and remand male prisoners will be moved into the vacated precinct in stages.

Corrective Services Minister Paul Papalia will addresses the media at Dumas House. Pictured - Brad Royce, Commissioner of Corrective Services
Camera IconCorrective Services commissioner Brad Royce. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The West Australian

Corrective Services commissioner Brad Royce said moving prisoners between facilities was “business as usual” for the department.

“This is a necessary measure to safely accommodate the State’s prisoner population while maintaining the good order and security of our custodial facilities,” he said.

“Relocating the women prisoners from Greenough frees up some space ahead of refurbished units coming online across the men’s estate.”

Supports will be provided for the women prisoners moved out of Greenough, including short term transfers back to the prison to receive family visits.

Mr Royce said the department would carefully manage the placement of female prisoners in consideration of their welfare and cultural needs and ensure programs and services are continued at their new facilities.

“We will be giving support and additional resources to Corrective Services staff at all sites to ensure the relocations of female and male prisoners are a success,” he said.

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