Positive findings from the 2013 inspection included:
- The prison continued to meet most of its contractual requirements.
- The most tangible innovation was the Custodial Management System, an ATM-like kiosk that allows prisoners to self-manage their daily life, freeing up officers to complete other duties.
- The majority of staff demonstrated enthusiasm towards their job and a commitment to organisational values.
- Prisoners’ care and wellbeing needs were generally being met to good standards.
- Acacia offered a full-time dentistry service with an emphasis on restorative work instead of tooth extractions.
- The Indigenous Enrolled Nurse encouraged Aboriginal prisoners to establish greater engagement with health services.
- Re-entry services were innovative and making good use of their resources.
Areas for improvement included:
- Staff at all levels appeared preoccupied with the expansion and this was leading to a reduced focus on the ‘here and now’.
- Custodial staff were regularly deployed off-site to conduct ‘hospital sits’ which were not covered by the limits of the Court Security and Custodial Services contract. This ultimately affected the operations of the prison. Recreation was frequently cancelled and staffing in the Detention Unit was often too low.
- Dynamic security had dropped back and custodial staff were spending too much time in offices and not interacting out in the units. Without a strong physical presence in the units, the risk of bullying, standover tactics and fighting increases.
- For such a large prison, the number of computers available for prisoner use was far too low.
- A new external store and training kitchen were built as part of the expansion and completed before schedule. However, the buildings remained empty.
- Operational staff felt that communication from management had slipped.
- Resources were stretched in a number of areas, including health, and re-entry services.
- The Department were yet to replicate Acacia’s innovative products and services at other prisons in the state.