26 September 2023

State takes custody of women’s prison

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The Melaleuca Remand and Reintegration Facility is back under the control of the Department of Justice and has a new name.

Minister for Corrective Services, Francis Logan said the 260-bed women’s prison – now renamed Melaleuca Women’s Prison – had been returned to the State following an early end to private operator Sodexo’s contract.

“The transfer of Melaleuca prison back to public hands gives the State far more options to better manage Western Australia’s female offender population,” Mr Logan said.

The Sodexo contract had not been due to expire until the end of 2021.

He said the facility would provide Corrective Services with more rehabilitative opportunities and greater flexibility for prisoner cohort management.

“It also paves the way for the planned overhaul of how we manage female offenders in the State,” Mr Logan said.

He said existing Melaleuca staff had accepted the opportunity to transition to the public sector and remain working at the prison.

He said the process of transitioning the management of the facility from Sodexo to the State was begun last December, overseen by the Department of Justice.

Corrective Services now has two dedicated women’s prisons, following the creation of the Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison for women in 2018.

“The Wandoo alcohol and other drug treatment prison is an Australian first and has remained drug free since its inception, which is unheard of in virtually any prison around the world,” Mr Logan said.

“Now, with the return of the Melaleuca facility, we will have greater flexibility within the female prison estate to move prisoner cohorts as needed, which will also help address rehabilitative needs.”

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