Serco’s Wandoo Reintegration Facility has been featured on the Prime7 News TV special, Ice: The Scourge of Regional Australia. Presented by acclaimed Australian journalist and presenter Ray Martin, the program focuses on the dramatic public consequences of the rising ice epidemic plaguing regional Australia.
Wandoo Reintegration Facility Director Wendy Sinclair-Gieben, Acacia Prison Assistant Director Reducing Reoffending Natalie Sangalli and former Wandoo resident Shane Taylor appeared on the program.
Mr Taylor spoke about his battle with ice addiction, which led him to incarceration at Wandoo in Western Australia. “It’s a horrible drug,” he said.
“When I was a kid I was never going to be a druggie, I was never, ever going to use a needle,” he said. “And then, by the time I’m twenty, there I am using a needle every day.”
Martin said the facility’s rehabilitation program “gave Shane a second chance”.
“He’s left jail a free man, but also a better man and now a father. But he couldn’t have done it without help and a better attitude,” Martin said.
Natalie Sangalli, who heads up the drug rehabilitation program at Serco’s Acacia Prison said: “A big part of that solution has to start with them being ready for treatment.”
Martin said Sangalli and Sinclair-Gieben, through the prison rehabilitation programs, are “trying to break the cycle of ice addiction as it’s passed from generation to generation.”
Sinclair-Gieben, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the corrections system, said: “Probably when I started fifty percent of prisoners came in with an issue related to substance misuse. Now I would say it was ninety-nine percent if not a hundred percent.”
“We as a society need to expend every single bit of effort we’ve got so that kids don’t continue on that track of self-destruction following neglect.”
Program Producer Shaun Devitt said the issue of ice addition deserved to be looked at in depth.
“We don’t want to go into these communities and produce another story which is just bashing the local communities over the head,” he said.
“We had to walk away (from this) with some sort of hope and optimism and some solution so people think: ‘OK this is not a futile exercise’, and to be honest that’s what we found. Particularly in WA; the prison we went into their rehab program has some amazing success stories.”
The full program can be viewed on Prime7.
Image: Serco Asia Pacific Chief Executive Officer Mark Irwin and Wandoo Reintegration Facility Director Wendy Sinclair-Gieben.