A report into the functionality of Pardelup Prison Farm has raised concerns the Mt Barker prison’s productivity could be jeopardised if its Indonesian prisoners were transferred to Broome.
Inspector of Custodial Services, Professor Neil Morgan, recently completed a review of the minimum security prison after inspecting the facility in August last year.
The report highlighted a possible reduction in productivity if Indonesian nationals, who at the time made up 40 per cent of the prison’s population, were relocated to Broome Regional Prison.
Prof. Morgan said in his report that Indonesian prisoners were “productive” and “self-motivated” workers, but the number of Indonesian prisoners in WA was declining and many held at Pardelup would soon be moved.
“I think there is a risk that will happen, but I think the prison is in a good state to prevent that by making sure new people that come in are sufficiently skilled,” Prof. Morgan said.
It is understood a significant number of Indonesians, most accused of people-smuggling crimes, remain at Pardelup awaiting transfer.
The Department of Corrective Services declined to comment on the issue, but in a statement released on Monday said the inspection provided valuable expert information about how to increase farm production. Meanwhile, the Department has appointed former Hakea Prison superintendent Richard Butcher to Pardelup Prison’s chief management role after the position was left vacant for two months.
It is understood Supt Butcher was appointed last Thursday, coinciding with the release of Prof. Morgan’s report into the prison, which also highlighted the loss of former Superintendent Chris Farlie to fill the same role at Albany Regional Prison.
The report said the changed management structure meant former Supt Farlie was forced to stretch his responsibilities over Albany, Pardelup and Walpole correctional facilities since November last year.
“There is an obvious risk that with Pardelup now being, in effect, an adjunct of Albany, it will lose the momentum of the past three years,” Prof. Morgan wrote in the report.
“It is to be hoped (Supt Farlie) can stretch himself adequately between the various sites.”
Prof. Morgan said the news of Supt Butcher’s appointment to oversee Pardelup and Walpole, which have an operational capacity of 84 and 12 prisoners respectively, gave him confidence all Great Southern correctional facilities would remain “safe and secure”.