Prison capacity to be boosted by 160
A Bunbury Regional Prison expansion to increase capacity by 160 beds will help bring home some of the 300 South West prisoners who are serving time in other prisons throughout the State.
Project 160 is part of a Statewide initiative to improve prison capacity across Western Australia.
State Corrective Services Minister Francis Logan and Commissioner Tony Hassall were given a tour of the construction at Bunbury Regional Prison on Thursday by prison Superintendent Kerri Bishop and the project management team.
Supt Bishop said Bunbury Regional Prison was fortunate to be able to address the issues of more than 300 South West prisoners being away from their support networks.
“These 160 beds will enable us to bring them back to Bunbury and then they can start developing those key networks to help and support them when they get out,” Supt Bishop said.
“This will give them the opportunities to be closer to their families.”
Upon completion of construction, the prison will have capacity for 573 prisoners.
Mr Logan said the project was also impressive because it provided hundreds of jobs through the construction phase.
“This is a great project for Bunbury,” he said.
“I’m informed by ADCO, the company that are doing the construction, that over 700 jobs in the life of the job will have been created and the majority of them from Bunbury — and 30 apprenticeships.
“The long-term benefit of this project for Bunbury means not only are we expanding the capacity of our corrective services in Western Australia, we are creating regional jobs.”
The additional 160 beds at the prison will make Bunbury Regional Prison the fourth biggest prison in the State.
Mr Logan said construction will be completed in August but the program to fill this facility up will be done through September.
Unit 5, a low security block at the prison, will be reopened with 37 beds for prisoners on Sunday.
“When that unit comes on board and we have Project 160 up and running, it means Bunbury will make a significant contribution to the prison system of Western Australia,” Mr Logan said.
Supt Bishop said the Bunbury Regional Prison was also the only State prison to have a dedicated re-entry facility for men getting out of prison.
“They go into out transition re-entry unit and stay there six months prior to getting out,” she said.
“They live as close as we can get to a lifestyle of what it’s going to be like living in the community and this is when their community work kicks in.
“This is for our most trusted prisoners.”
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