WA has experienced years of tough talk on law and order, but little thought has been given to the capacity of WA’s prisons to deal with those who reach the end of the line.
WA’s prisons are chronically overcrowded with over 6,000 prisoners in prisons designed to hold little more than 4200.
ABS statistics show WA has the second highest overall imprisonment rate in the country, and the highest incarceration rate of Aboriginal people.
The problem is only getting worse. The prison population is growing by hundreds each year, but the government can’t build new cells fast enough to accommodate them.
The main solution so far has to cram two people into cells designed for one person.
Prison Officers know from experience that there is a direct link between prison overcrowding and the number of assaults that take place in prisons.
And while the prison population has increased, the number of prison officers has not kept pace – despite efforts to recruit. Prison Officers are managing more prisoners than ever before.
Respect the Risk is asking the Western Australian Government to address the overcrowding crisis by committing adequate resources to the prison system.