Corrective Services Minister Fran Logan says new measures are being implemented to tackle the issue of under reporting on prison assaults.
The new measures came into effect recently after an internal audit back in 2018, which revealed the under-reporting of serious assaults 27% based on a ratio of 100 prisoners.
Authorities have also identified there needs to be improvement in previous reporting and recording of assaults.
Corrective Services Minister Fran Logan says the McGowan Government is working hard to address the issue of assaults due to prison overcrowding and understaffing.
“It’s particularly concerning that there has been an increase in staff assaults and we are working as fast as possible to address the inherited issues of overcrowding and understaffing,” Mr Logan said.
“We have invested $310 million to build new units in Bunbury and Casuarina Prisons to bring 1228 new beds online, which will make a significant difference to overcrowding. The first 160 bed-unit under this significant expansion plan is expected to be operational next month.”
“We have embarked on a recruitment campaign for another 458 prison officers and so far we have 228 trainee officers confirmed across WA’s jails.”
As a result of the change, tighter reporting standards, software enhancements and quality assurance processes have been implemented on incident reporting and recording.
Prison superintendents are expected to ensure prison officers following the existing policies and procedures to minimise assaults on staff, with an expectation of accurate report and record of incidents.
A new category of no physical injuries assault has been introduced, with the prisoner’s action would still be considered as an unacceptable form of assault.
With Hakea Remand Prison are facing an increase in the number of offenders with meth addiction issues, new measures have also introduced to minimise assault on prison officers and other prisoners.
It’s understood that a WA Police officer will be based at Hakea Prison, assisting prosecution of prisoners who’ve commit assaults.
Special Operations Group will provide assistance to more frequent wing patrols, and a new staff agreement to fill vacancies as soon as possible.
“Hakea Prison, the State’s busiest and most challenging prison, will have a police officer based there in the coming weeks to help with the prosecution of a prisoner who carries out an assault,” Mr Logan said.
“I want the full weight of the law brought down on prisoners who assault a prison officer and we are working to achieve that.”