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Report into Acacia Prison welcomed

Published: 12 Aug 2014

Serco Australia has welcomed a new report from the Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services into Acacia Prison noting many of the recommendations have already been implemented.

Serco Managing Director Paul Mahoney said the Inspector highlighted areas of improvement, acknowledging that Acacia was generally performing to a good standard in most areas but had slipped from its very high level in the last report done in 2010.

The report comes at a time when the prison was being expanded from 1000 to 1387 beds in what the Inspector said was:

In scale and complexity, there is certainly no parallel in this state, probably none in Australia.

Overall, Serco deserves credit for the way it has managed the risks of such a massive project.  It also deserves credit for seeing the expansion as an opportunity to improve prisoner rehabilitation, not as a threat... is still performing to a good standard in most areas, but it does mean there is work to be done to lift performance again.

“The Inspector highlights key areas or good performance and rightly, areas where we need to improve,” Mr Mahoney said. “We have already implemented many of the recommendations and will strive to lift our levels back to the previous highs.

“I am pleased the Inspector has found the prison continues to meet most of its contractual performance requirements, including a range of performance linked measures and continues to show innovation across many areas.”

Innovations such as the Custodial Management System and Skype technology to link prisoners and their families were identified in the report as delivering on Acacia’s responsible prisoner model to reduce reoffending.

The report also found that Serco continued to provide value for money and efficiencies, with the overall cost per prisoner at Acacia was $155 a day compared to $317 in a state run prison.

“The report says the prison is in a state of transition. I am proud of our record at Acacia and we look forward to managing through this transition and delivering the value, security and innovation as we have in the past eight years,” Mr Mahoney said.