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Wooroloo Prison Farm
A recent inspection of the Wooroloo Prison Farm raised serious concerns for staff and prisoner welfare.

Inspection of Wooroloo Prison Farm raises concerns

THE latest inspection of Wooroloo Prison Farm has uncovered major concerns for the welfare and needs of staff and prisoners.

The Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services report released this week highlighted poor workplace behaviour by some male officers directed at female colleagues.

“Some examples provided to us were extremely offensive and not acceptable in any workplace,” inspector Eamon Ryan said.

“Attitudes accompanying this behaviour potentially threatened the safety and security of those staff.”

Furthermore, examples provided by some staff were reported as “disturbing to hear” but, according to the inspector, the prison leadership and Department of Corrective Services had responded positively and were taking steps to address concerns.

Key findings also highlighted 27 instances where prisoners had needed programs that were unavailable due to excess demand, or not offered at Wooroloo.

Despite the findings, Mr Ryan said he was pleased to find an overall positive environment for prisoners working towards release back to their communities.

“These achievements have been managed even as Wooroloo has had to overcome many challenges since our last inspection,” he said.

“These included industrial action, a major disturbance, COVID-19 and a near miss from a large bushfire.”

Mr Ryan added health services at Wooroloo deserved a special mention.

“We are often critical of the health services we see in prisons,” he said.

“Despite not having a substantiative clinical nurse manager, at this inspection we saw a functional and positive health team.

“The health service generally provided a complete suite of services covering mental health and allied health services, including a regular dental service.”

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