Bandyup Women's Prison
|Location||West Swan, Western Australia|
|Security class||Mixed (female)|
|Managed by||Department of Corrective Services, Western Australia|
Bandyup Women's Prison is located in the northeastern rural Perth suburb of West Swan, Western Australia. Prior to its construction, the female prisoners were at Fremantle Prison, which was overcrowded and offered women limited opportunities.
Bandyup Women’s Prison holds sentenced and remand prisoners of all security classifications. It is run as a maximum security prison though only 10% of the women are categorised as maximum security. It is the only prison for women on remand or sentenced in the Perth metropolitan area. The prison is inspected every three years by the state Office for the Inspector of Custodial Services.
Women prisoners in Western Australia were housed at Fremantle Gaol until a Women’s Rehabilitation Centre was opened in 1969. Bandyup Training Centre, the precursor to Bandyup Women’s Prison, was opened in 1971. It was originally built to hold 68 women. In 1998, following civil society agitation, an urgency motion and debate was held in state parliament about the conditions at Bandyup. The prison was so overcrowded that women were sleeping on mattresses on the floor. A major refurbishment of the prison with the addition of new units, completed in 2003, brought the total design capacity to 180. Not long after, however, overcrowding again became an issue and continues to this day.[needs update?]
This section needs to be updated. In particular: Melaleuca Remand and Reintegration Facility is intended to address the overcrowding at Bandyup. (December 2016)
Women are still sleeping on mattresses on the floor in 2015. Despite the Minister for Corrective Services assuring this was not the case in Parliament on 19 February, the prison will continue this practice while there is no cap on the number of women that can be held there. In early 2015, the Department of Corrective Services stopped using the phrase ‘operational capacity’ and starting using the phrase ‘total capacity’, which includes beds that have been added to the design capacity on an ad hoc basis. The total capacity published on the DCS website on 23 January 2015 was 321, though the total population at Bandyup on any one day is consistently higher than this. Bunk beds have been installed in various units and are planned to be installed in most cells of the prison, including cells designed for single occupancy. The beds added in unit 4 are so close to the ceiling that the occupant is not able to sit upright in bed and a ceiling light is about 10 cm away from the head of the bed. As there is no desk or chair in these units, these occupants are not able to sit down in the cell. The increase in beds comes without a corresponding increase in other infrastructure, such as showering facilities, or services, such as nursing services or access to phones. While waiting for bunk beds, women have been sleeping on plastic-covered mattresses on the floor. In units 1 and 2, women that sleep on the floor have their head next to the toilet. These units are mostly occupied by Aboriginal women.
- "Bandyup Women's Prison". Correctiveservices.wa.gov.au. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
- Calla Wahlquist. "Vulnerable WA prisoner 'forced to share cell against psychologist's advice' | Australia news". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
- "Symbolic name for new women's prison". Government of Western Australia. 29 June 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
- Courtney Bembridge (18 December 2016). "New Perth women's prison opens with private operator offered cash incentives". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 18 December 2016.