An old and jam-packed minimum security prison south of Perth has not been upgraded sufficiently despite the need being identified 12 years ago, a report has revealed.


The report by Western Australia’s Inspector of Custodial Services Neil Morgan followed a recent inspection of Karnet Prison Farm and was tabled in parliament on Tuesday.

Mr Morgan concluded Karnet was one of the state’s strongest performing prisons, saying it was well managed and a large number of prisoners had embraced employment, education and training, and recreation opportunities available to them at the facility.

But it was also an old prison, where the population had surged over the past three years.

“While there have been a number of infrastructure upgrades to sustain the new population, including power, water and a number of new buildings, more investment is still required,” Mr Morgan said in his report.

“In the prison’s fiftieth year, the age and small size of some of its buildings remain a problem.

“Even at the time of this office’s first inspection of Karnet in 2001, it was identified that the majority of its buildings needed to be upgraded. This situation is largely unchanged.”

Mr Morgan also noted Aboriginal prisoners were under-represented at minimum security prisons across the state, including Karnet.

“Despite making up 41 per cent of the state’s prison population, only 11 per cent of Karnet’s prisoners were Aboriginal,” he said.

“Given the many opportunities Karnet has to offer, this is disappointing.”

Mr Morgan will on Wednesday report on a riot earlier this year at the state’s only juvenile detention centre, Banksia Hill.