August 23, 2017

Labor must commit to building a new prison in Budget

Shadow Minister for Corrective Service Peter Katsambanis has called on the State Government to immediately commit to building a new prison to alleviate prisoner overcrowding highlighted in the latest report from the Inspector of Custodial Services.

Mr Katsambanis said the previous Liberal Government had identified the need for the new prison and began planning for it by committing funds for a feasibility study in the 2016/2017 Budget.

“For Minister Fran Logan to come out now and say the State can’t afford this essential infrastructure but can afford to meet Labor’s $5 billion in election promises is not good enough,” Mr Katsambanis said.

“The evidence is there to show WA’s prison system is overcrowded by national and international standards and nothing short of a new prison is going to fix that.

“Mr Logan is doing little more than kicking the can down the road while the problem gets bigger and bigger.

“He is going to tinker at the edges of the current prison estate with funds that would be better used to build a new facility to serve Western Australia for decades to come.”

Mr Katsambanis said it was obvious the State Government had made no progress on developing a prisons policy since April when Minister Logan said the policy was to release prisoners to reduce overcrowding, only to have it shut down by the Premier four hours later.

“The proper decision is obvious, Labor needs to commit to providing funds in its first Budget to build a new prison,” Mr Katsambanis said.

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