Despite the effectiveness of air-conditioning in reducing the likelihood of temperature related ill-health it is not generally provided in public Western Australian prisons. All cells in the privately run Acacia Prison (Acacia) are air-conditioned and nearly all cells in the privately run Wandoo Reintegration Facility (Wandoo) are air-conditioned.
Only 14 per cent of prisoners in publicly run facilities are in an air-conditioned cell. Banksia Hill Detention Centre (Banksia Hill), which was air-conditioned after the January 2013 riot, and the recently built West Kimberley Regional Prison (West Kimberley) are the only facilities to have air-conditioning provided to all cells.
Proportion of prison population in an air-conditioned cell (including HVC systems)
|Facility||% of prisoners in an air-conditioned cell|
|Albany Regional Prison||0.0%|
|Bandyup Women’s Prison||32.4%|
|Banksia Hill Detention Centre||100%|
|Boronia Pre-release Centre||16.1%|
|Bunbury Regional Prison||0%|
|Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison||49.4%|
|Greenough Regional Prison||14.7%|
|Karnet Prison Farm||0.0%|
|Pardelup Prison Farm||12.7%|
|Roebourne Regional Prison||17.3%|
|Wandoo Reintegration Facility||94.1%|
|West Kimberley Regional Prison||97.2%|
|Wooroloo Prison Farm||6.0%|
The provision of air-conditioning is inconsistent and poorly correlated with risk. It is appropriate that air-conditioning is provided in certain accommodation units likely to house vulnerable prisoners, including the Acacia assisted care unit, the Hakea crisis care unit and the mother and child houses at both Bandyup and Boronia. However, there are numerous examples of similarly vulnerable populations who are not provided air-conditioning:
- Air-conditioning is provided in the Hakea crisis care unit cells but not in the crisis care accommodation in Casuarina or Bandyup;
- Air-conditioning is provided in the Dowerin and Walpole work camps but not in the Warburton Work Camp, despite Warburton Work Camp experiencing more extreme temperatures;
- Air-conditioning is provided in the Roebourne Work Camp but not the main Roebourne Prison, despite prisoners in the Roebourne Work Camp spending less time in their cells and having increased freedom to leave their cells at night;
- Air-conditioning is provided to the young, typically healthy population of Wandoo but not to the older and less healthy population of Karnet;
- Air-conditioning is provided in West Kimberley but not in Roebourne, despite Roebourne having a similar climate and housing a population with similarly poor health outcomes;
- Air-conditioning is provided in the Acacia assisted care unit but not the Casuarina infirmary.
It is highly likely that vulnerable prisoners are being placed at-risk in non-air-conditioned environments.