Western Australia’s extremely overcrowded prisons and the appalling overrepresentation of Aboriginal people are symptoms of a law and order system that is not working. Prisons are expensive, and when they fail to address the root causes of offending, they fail to make our communities safer in the long term.
Too many people leave the prison system without ever having their mental health or drug and alcohol issues addressed. Alison will also continue her strong advocacy for the large number of people in our prisons with mental illness and substance misuse issues. Addressing mental health and substance misuse issues in prison reduces reoffending, making the community safer for everyone. It also makes our prisons safer, both for prisoners and for the people who work there.
One of the first motions Alison has introduced during the current term of Parliament called for the Legislative Council to recognise the health needs of men, women and children in Western Australian prisons and Banksia Hill Detention Centre, and to end the exclusion of prisoners from Medicare. The motion received significant support in the Legislative Council.
Alison will continue to advocate for improved conditions and programs in our prisons and at Banksia Hill Detention Centre, and to increase the availability of evidence-based court intervention and diversion programs to reduce our prison populations and improve community safety.