September 21, 2017

No model or business case for planned rehabilitation prison

The State Government’s plan for a dedicated drug and alcohol rehabilitation prison is in disarray, according to Shadow Corrective Service Minister Peter Katsambanis.

Mr Katsambanis said Corrective Services Minister Fran Logan’s admissions this week during Estimates hearings that he did not know what treatment model would operate at the prison, what the total cost of repurposing the prison infrastructure would be or what the daily cost of housing prisoners at the facility would be put a cloud over the future of the facility.

“The Labor Party announced during the election it would repurpose the 80-bed Wandoo Reintegration Facility into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation prison but now admits it had no idea what the cost or benefits of that would be,” Mr Katsambanis said.

“Mr Logan said during the Estimates hearings that even though no business case had ever been developed for the new facility, it would proceed because it was an election commitment.”

Mr Katsambanis said he had no confidence in the costings presented in the Budget, in the Government’s ability to meet its July 2018 opening target or in the effectiveness of the treatment prisoners would receive.

“Mr Logan admitted that keeping and treating prisoners in the new rehabilitation prison would be more expensive, however the Budget makes provision only for funding at the cost of keeping prisoners in the existing facility,” Mr Katsambanis said.

“It is also disturbing to know the Government is forging ahead with this commitment without having a proven treatment model to ensure prisoners are being helped and will not be the subjects of an experiment resulting from an election thought bubble.

“Mr Logan also said that while the aim was still to have the prison open by July 2018 ‘there are a number of complications to that’.”

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