Records broken at Australian-first drug treatment prison
- Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison for women celebrates second anniversary
- Prison has nation’s lowest rate of return to prison of less than one per cent
- Wandoo still remains drug-free, which is unprecedented across the world
- More than 100 women have graduated from six-month program
Australia’s first Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Prison for women has celebrated two years of operation with a rate of return to prison of less than one per cent so far.
This is virtually unprecedented for any prison in Australia with a national average of 46 per cent.
Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison was introduced by the McGowan Government as part of its comprehensive Methamphetamine Action Plan to try to reduce addiction-driven offending.
More than 100 women have graduated from the six-month intensive therapeutic program with just one woman returning to jail.
Some other prisoners have breached parole conditions but overall the Wandoo program is making a significant change in the women’s lives.
The facility was recently praised by the independent Inspector of Custodial Services as being like no other prison in Western Australia, and the transformation of the facility into a treatment prison was ‘a remarkable achievement’.
Wandoo was a privately run facility before it was returned to public hands in May 2018.
To the credit of the Department of Justice and program provider Cyrenian House, the prison was transformed in just a few months and started accepting prisoners who wanted to transform their lives.
The prison has remained drug-free in the entire two years of its operation, which is unheard of for any prison.
Wandoo runs a six-month community-based, therapeutic program, which involves participants facing up to their own truths about their drug addiction and addressing psychological and emotional issues.
As stated by Corrective Services Minister Francis Logan: “When we started Wandoo as part of the McGowan Government’s Methamphetamine Action Plan, I had high hopes for what could be achieved. “But the results after just two years are simply remarkable.
“At the recent two-year anniversary celebration we heard from former Wandoo prisoner Tory who said she had been in and out of jail since she was 19 and never expected it to change.
“But after completing the Wandoo program and facing some really tough truths, she has turned her life around and has been living a fully productive life on the outside for the last year.
“She has a job and savings, but just as importantly a fantastic sense of achievement and faith in herself to keep doing the right thing.