WA Budget: Missed opportunities in Corrective Services

The WA Budget misses an opportunity to reduce imprisonment rates and to use savings for more prevention, diversion and in-prison programs, Greens spokesperson for Corrective Services Hon Alison Xamon MLC has said today.  

Ms Xamon said no funding had been allocated to address the serious issues at Banksia Hill Detention Centre through establishing alternative accommodation for girls and young children, as promised by the Minister last year.

"There also appears to be no money set aside for the transition of Youth Justice to the Department of Communities, which is disappointing. 

"There has been a question mark hanging over it for nearly a year, which has hampered much needed reform."

"Overall there is less funding for Justice next year, and across the forward estimates.

"The constrained funding environment is exactly why we need to look at reducing the number of prisoners being detained, many of whom would be better served being managed in the community, and reinvesting those funds back into our prisons even while we can’t increase the overall amount allocated.

"Ultimately we must invest in providing programs and supports in prisons to reduce reoffending and increase community safety."

Ms Xamon welcomed the $21.5 million funding for Regional Youth Justice Services in the Kimberley and Pilbara over four years, bringing these important services back up to previous levels.

She said more work was needed to address the over-representation of Aboriginal people in custody.

"We still have no information about what the Government is going to do to reduce the number of Aboriginal people in prison due to unpaid fines or driver’s licence offences," Ms Xamon said.