The Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services, released last night, has revealed WA has the country’s second highest imprisonment rate after NT, and the highest imprisonment rate of Aboriginals.
Ms Xamon labelled the statistics “shameful”.
“Instead of locking more Aboriginal people up, at exorbitant cost to the community, the Minister should be focussing on ways to keep people out of prison and to rehabilitate those who come before the justice system,” said Ms Xamon.
“An essential part of this task is providing appropriate in-prison programs, education, and training.”
However, it is abundantly clear this is not a priority of the WA government.
Another incredibly worrying finding from the Productivity Commission report was that WA had the second lowest percentage of eligible prisoners in education and training.
The Labor Government has demonstrated no appetite for addressing this lack. Funding has been allocated to increase prison capacity yet there is no investment in strategies to reduce the prison population.
“We know we need to include in-prison rehabilitative programs and keep vulnerable young people engaged in education.”
The Government’s priorities are completely wrong, and will only lead to greater costs over the longer term.